Parents might worry when a child's temperature rises, but fever itself causes no harm and can actually be a good thing — often, it's the body's way of fighting infections. Signs and Symptoms A child who has a fever might be: fussy uncomfortable warm to the touch flushed sweaty What to Do It's best to keep a child home from school or childcare until the temperature has been normal for at least 24 hours. If your child is uncomfortable, here are some ways to relieve symptoms: Offer plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration. Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen based on the doctor's recommendations. Do not give aspirin. Never use rubbing alcohol or cold baths to bring the fever down. Dress your child in lightweight clothing and cover with a light sheet or blanket. Let your child eat what he or she wants, and don't force eating if your child doesn't feel like it. If your child also is vomiting and/or has diarrhea, ask the doctor if you should give a children's oral rehydration solution (also called oral electrolyte solution or oral electrolyte maintenance solution). Make sure your child gets plenty of rest. Get Medical Care if: an infant younger than 3 months old has a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher an older child has a fever and: looks sick develops a rash has lasting diarrhea and/or repeated vomiting has signs of dehydration (peeing less than usual, not having tears when crying, less alert and less active than usual) has a fever for 5 days has a chronic medical problem like sickle cell disease, heart problems, cancer, or lupus Think Prevention! Fevers are unavoidable. The key is to make your child as comfortable as possible until the fever passes, and get medical treatment when needed. Back to Articles Related Articles Word! Fever You've probably noticed that sometimes when you're sick, you feel really hot one minute and then freezing cold the next. Read More Flu Center Get the basics on how flu spreads and how to protect yourself. Read More Flu Center Learn all about protecting your family from the flu and what to do if your child gets flu-like symptoms. Read More First Aid: Sore Throat Sore throats are usually caused by viruses. Here's what to do if your child has a sore throat. Read More How to Safely Give Ibuprofen What kind? How much? How often? Find out how to give this pain medicine. Read More Febrile Seizures Febrile seizures are full-body convulsions caused by high fevers that affect young kids. Although they can be frightening, they usually stop on their own and don't cause any other health problems. Read More Diarrhea Most kids battle diarrhea from time to time, so it's important to know what to do to relieve and even prevent it. Read More How to Safely Give Acetaminophen What kind? How much? How often? Find out how to give this pain and fever medicine. Read More Vomiting Most vomiting is caused by gastroenteritis, and usually isn't serious. These home-care tips can help prevent dehydration. Read More Fevers Fevers happen when the body's internal "thermostat" raises the body temperature above normal. This is often the body's way of fighting infections. Read More What's a Fever? What are fevers? Why do kids get them? Get the facts on temperatures and fevers in this article for kids. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.