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A 29-year-old member asked:

Can fevers cause brain trauma and damage?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sharon Gilliland
Pediatrics 37 years experience
No: The typical fevers of childhood illnesses do not cause brain trauma and damage. If the fever is caused by an infection of the brain (meningitis or encephalitis), the infection can cause damage but not the fever. Fevers from heat stroke (in the 107 degree range or more) may cause brain damage but these are not typical fevers of childhood. They result from exposure to extreme heat.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics 23 years experience
No: No only at very high levels, above 105 degrees, and for prolonged periods of time. Think babies being left in a car on a 90 degree day type scenario. The fevers typical obtained through infection and inflammation (100-104) are not going to cause brain damage or trauma.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: Fever is part of the immune system, and helps your child fight off infection. Children tolerate even high fevers very well. There is no damage to your child from the fever itself. Fever is a sign that there is illness, so your doctor will evaluate to find out what is causing the fever.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
No: A healthy child who gets fever will not get brain damage from the fever. If a child gets a severe illness, such as an infection in the brain, the child may develop brain damage, but that damage was not caused by the fever. Fever is a sign that tells parents to observe the child, and then contact a doctor if any unusual symptoms begin; or contact a doctor right away if the child is <3 months old.
Last updated Sep 28, 2016
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