Is 103 a high fever?

Are you feeling hot, hot, hot? You might be experiencing a fever! But what exactly constitutes as a “high” fever? And should you be worried if your temperature spikes to 103 degrees Fahrenheit? Let’s dive in and find out.

What is Normal Body Temperature?

Before we can determine whether or not 103 is considered high for a fever, it’s important to know what the baseline temperature of our bodies typically is. According to medical professionals, the average human body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius).

However, there are many factors that can affect an individual’s body temperature – including age, gender, activity level and even time of day. It’s normal for our temperatures to fluctuate throughout the day by as much as one degree. So keep that in mind before sounding the alarm over a potentially high fever.

When Does A Fever Become High?

In general terms, when someone has a body temperature higher than their average range – usually measured at 100.4°F (38°C) or above – they have developed a fever.

But again, defining what qualifies as “high” will vary from person-to-person depending on several factors such as age and overall health status.

So while presenting with temperatures between 101-102°F may indicate illness among adults and older children; those younger children—especially infants under three months old—may develop dangerous complications from fevers starting at only about 100°F(37ºC)!

The Pros vs Cons

Before we get too far ahead though let’s consider why our bodies develop fevers in the first place:


  • It helps us fight against infection caused by bacteria
  • Viruses also do not like heat so it makes things harder for them


  • Can cause dehydration given how much water lost due sweating/others
  • In extreme cases it can lead to seizures and brain damage

Understanding High Fevers

Now, given what we’ve learned above about normal body temperature ranges and the basics of fevers; a fever over 103.5°F (39.7°C) would be considered high in most circumstances.

For adults, temperatures over 103°F are generally uncommon unless they have an underlying medical condition or infection caused by something like legionnaire’s disease which is an intense type of pneumonia that impacts around 10k people annually !

Children younger than five years old however may exhibit temps as high as 105°F but typically remain at lower levels ranging anywhere between from 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit for common ailments such as ear infections, colds flu symptoms or something more serious.

When Should I Seek Medical Help?

If you’re unsure whether your fever qualifies as “high,” here are some general rules of thumb:


  • Pay attention to other symptoms beyond just having a fever.
  • Seeking help if combined with weakness, dizziness and/or loss of consciousness – reoccuring
    experience amounts fatigue along with shortness breath present after exercise were seen across time intervals this was looked up meaning its possible similar qualities manifest during periods when somebody might be dealing with ingesting COVID!

You should also speak with your physician if you’re experiencing any “red flag” symptoms including difficulty breathing, chest pain, severe headache pain or confusion; all could indicate there’s potentially something even more problematic occurring.


Young children – especially infants under three months old – require much greater attention when a fever arises since it takes very little elevation from their baseline body temp for rapidly life-threatening consequences(overheating) develop. If baby is displaying heavy sweating & refusing breastmilk then these are good indicators that extra care will be needed regardless later turning into dehydration(parents!)

Any child who seems lethargic,vomits frequently or presents seizure experiences alongside their fevering should likely be evaluated by some sort of medical practitioner – safer safe than sorry!

What To Do If You Have a High Fever

There are several options for reducing fevers that don’t involve medication. It’s important to rest in order to let your body fight off any bacteria or viruses causing the elevated temperature.

Other non-pharmaceutical remedies include drinking plenty fluids, staying in cool environments and wearing breathable clothing.

In cases where symptoms appear more severe (rash accompanied by high fever etc.) medicine could certainly become necessary & healthcare attention needed after 48 hours have passed; so timing is everything! Make sure you evaluate each situation carefully before committing too one particular course action as prevention often proves less costly in the long term via simple things like hand washing!!

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, whether or not a 103-degree Fahrenheit fever is considered “high” will vary from case to case. However –as evidenced from our review of normal and dangerous body temps among both infants and adults- if this level persists over time / additional negative symptoms beyond simply having a higher-than-average temperature manifest its always best evaluation given possible risks/severity associated with conditions like COVID which can quickly fatal depending immunity levels pre-existing conditions age-related factors involved amongst other variables…