When is a fever dangerous?

When we have a fever, our immune system is at its best

If, in spite of everything, the fever doesn't go down - won't it eventually become dangerous? When should I see a doctor myself or with a febrile child?

That is an important question. Even if the fever itself is not dangerous, the underlying disease can be dangerous. It is therefore important that the caregiver is sensitive to certain warning signs that indicate that the patient is unable to cope with the infection.

Warning signs include neck stiffness or a bleeding rash: If I press the skin with my fingers in a normal rash, the skin becomes paler as soon as my finger is removed. But if I put my fingers on the rash and the rash remains dark red, then the vessels under the skin are affected. This is an absolute warning sign - for meningitis, for example.

Are there any other signs of a serious illness?

Another warning sign is when the person does not react normally, is completely apathetic, no longer responsive or even falls into a kind of coma. However, one must distinguish this condition from the feverish dreams that occur again and again in children.

Dehydration should also be taken seriously when the body no longer has enough fluids. If the mouth is completely dry and the skin is slack, if the child is lying in bed apathetically and powerless, then these are signs of insufficient fluid in the body and you should take the child to the doctor.

If the child is younger than 6 months, however, you should consult a doctor on the first day of fever. Very young children usually don't get high temperatures easily. And when they get this, it is a sign that they are dealing with something serious.

But parents can also rely on their feelings here. Interestingly, it has been shown in our research: If the parents themselves have a very bad feeling or even a feeling of panic or think that something is wrong at all - then they should see a doctor. And: You should contact your doctor by the third day of fever at the latest, even if there are no further warning signs.