Normally, the body temperature is around 98.6°F (37°C). The body temperature varies throughout the day and with the person's level of activity. A slight rise in temperature (below 100.4°F [38°C]) may occur after exercise / physical exertion or when infants and children are overdressed.

A temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) is considered a fever. It is a symptom, rather than a disease. Keep in mind the following facts about fever.

  • Harmful effects from fever are rare.
  • Fever is one of the body's normal methods for fighting against infections.
  • A fever actually helps to fight an infection.
  • The degree of the temperature may not indicate how sick the child is.
  • In some children fever can be associated with a seizure or dehydration but fever will not lead to brain damage or death.

A child with a fever may have warm or hot skin, but it is better to use a thermometer to find out the exact temperature. There are many ways to measure a temperature.