Parents get too worried about their kids’ fevers. When a fever strikes a child most parents overmedicate, use cold baths unnecessarily and check temperatures too frequently. Fever is the body's defence mechanism against either viruses or bacteria. It is an important way by which the body fights infection. The body tries to create so much heat that the virus or the bacteria cannot survive. Having a temperature helps the child fight illness. The part of the human brain which controls body temperature is not fully developed in children. That means that children's temperature may rise and fall very quickly. The temperature of their surroundings very easily affects a child's body temperature. If it is very hot, take off some of your child's clothes so heat can escape from their body. If it is very cold, parents can help their child stay warm by dressing him or her in warm clothes. What is the normal temperature for a child? If you take the temperature in your child's mouth or ear, the normal temperature is between 36° and 36.8° C (97.7° to 99.1°F). Does it make a difference where the temperature is taken? The temperature can be taken by putting the thermometer in the child's mouth, under her arm, in her ear, in her bottom, or using strips that are placed on the forehead. The most reliable results are achieved by taking the temperature in the child's bottom - known as the rectal method. Temperatures taken here are most accurate and are about 0.5 degrees C higher in the mouth. Temperature taken in the armpit is not very reliable and will be about 0.5 degrees C (2 degrees F) lower than the mouth temperature.