During the course of each day, body temperature goes up and down by a degree or two. It’s usually lowest in the early hours of the morning, and highest in the late afternoon and early evening.
A fever might come on slowly and rise over a few days, or it might rise very quickly. The height of a fever, and how quickly it comes on, usually doesn’t have anything to do with the illness that causes it.
Fever in itself is rarely harmful. But the high temperature might make your child feel uncomfortable – they might have chills or shivering when their temperature is rising, and might sweat when it’s falling. Sometimes they might become mildly dehydrated if they're losing a lot of fluid from the fever and not replacing it.
Febrile convulsions are seizures that happen because of fever. They occur in about 4% of children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Children outgrow febrile convulsions by the age of 4 to 5 years. Febrile convulsions have no long-term consequences, but talk to your doctor about them.
See your doctor if your child has a raised temperature with other symptoms or if you are worried.
Source: Raising Children Network (fever)
Last reviewed: August 2015