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Can a high fever cause brain damage?

For brain damage to occur from a high fever, the child's temperature needs to be higher than 42 degrees Celsius. This is an unlikely scenario, unless the child has been wrapped up too warmly in blankets and clothing during the fever, or has been locked in a car on a hot day.

An ideal temperature for viruses to survive and multiply is 37 degrees Celsius. The body's natural response to viral attacks is to raise the temperature to make the living conditions for viruses too harsh to thrive in. That is why temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius can be reached when a child is running a fever.

Although a high temperature like that is considered within the normal limits, you should always seek medical attention if you think that their fever is too intense. What can cause brain damage to a sick child, is giving them aspirin or medication containing it. To cool a very high temperature, a warm cloth should be used on the child's forehead, instead of a cold one. The evaporation from the warm water will reduce the temperature gradually. If a cold cloth is used, the child's body will react by raising the core temperature even more.

More questions

Concern over give infants cold medicine
There are very specific guidelines when it comes to safely administering over the counter medications to babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Fever is often the first sign of an illness in children. When your child has a temperature it can be a worrying and stressful time.
Sore throats and coughs are two very common illnesses for children.
Once you have established your baby has a fever and have taken practical measures, such as placing them in a cooler environment, to combat this, a fever-reducing medication can be administered.
Febrile convulsions are caused by a rapid increase in the body temperature of young children.
Once you have established your baby has a slight fever, there are a number of measures you can take to keep it under control
If your baby has a slight fever, there are a number of measures you can take to keep it under control.
The average body temperature should be between 35°C and 37°C.
 
While a fever can be treated, it's important to keep in mind that fevers are usually the symptom of an illness and not the illness itself.

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