In their Keeping Kids Healthy column, UTMB Drs. Sally Robinson and Keith Bly explain “normal” body temperature and provide guidelines for taking temperatures and treating fever in children. With so many diseases incorporating the word “fever” in their names, it is no wonder some parents become upset when a child’s temperature rises. A center in our brains, the hypothalamus, regulates body temperatures. It has a setting for normal running conditions, about 98.6 degrees. It reacts to infections by turning up the heat and to hot environments by turning down the heat. So our normal body temperature might be higher or lower than “normal.” This figure of 98.6 degrees is an average of lots of sample temperatures of healthy adults and older children. But it is an average. Normal temperatures in older children run from 97 degrees to 100 degrees.