At what temperature is a fever dangerous?


Quick Answer

A fever becomes dangerous for infants at 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and 104 degrees for a child or adult, according to Seattle Children's Hospital. At these high temperature levels, a fever can cause seizures, abnormal body appendage movement, burning urination pain and breathing difficulty.

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Full Answer

Temperatures over 106 degrees can cause permanent damage, while temperatures over 108 degrees are truly life-threatening. When an infant, child or adult reaches dangerous temperatures, they should be taken to the emergency room immediately, as recommended by WebMD. Over-the-counter fever medicine will only help those whose temperatures fall in between the 100-102 degrees range, and this range is still unsafe for infants.

Most fevers are also related to illnesses, and are not the underlying condition. Therefore, a fever of abnormal temperature is often an indicator that the person is dealing with a severe and possibly life-threatening illness, as stated by WebMD. Standard infections or illnesses cause more typical fever temperatures.

For people with fevers, there are several early telltale signs that Seattle Children's Hospital asks patients to watch for, which include sore throats, ear pains, physical pain when touched or moved, stiff neck, rashes, non-appetite, lethargy, diarrhea and feelings of extreme hot or cold body parts. To help bring down a fever, a person should take cold fluids, such as water, as much as possible. These people should also wear a light layer of clothing and nap with a light blanket so that they can avoid overheating, yet stay warm.

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