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In contrast, hyperthermia is a rare and pathophysiologic response with failure of normal homeostasis (no change in the hypothalamic set point) that results in heat production that exceeds the capability to dissipate heat.Studies of health care workers, including physicians, have revealed that most believe that the risk of heat-related adverse outcomes is increased with temperatures above 40°C (104°F), although this belief is not justified.Thus, pediatricians and health care providers are responsible for the appropriate counseling of parents and other caregivers about fever and the use of antipyretics.Data show beneficial effects on certain components of the immune system in fever, and limited data have revealed that fever actually helps the body recover more quickly from viral infections, although the fever may result in discomfort in children.

It is not clear whether comfort improves with a normalized temperature, because external cooling measures, such as tepid sponge baths, can lower the body temperature without improving comfort.Risks of lowering fever include delayed identification of the underlying diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment and drug toxicity.There is no evidence that children with fever, as opposed to hyperthermia, are at increased risk of adverse outcomes such as brain damage.Furthermore, antipyretics have other clinical outcomes, including analgesia, which may enhance their overall clinical effect.Regardless of the exact mechanism of action, many physicians continue to encourage the use of antipyretics with the belief that most of the benefits are the result of improved comfort and the accompanying improvements in activity and feeding, less irritability, and a more reliable sense of the child's overall clinical condition.

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