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[en] We consider a class of models in which thermal dark matter is lighter than a MeV. If dark matter thermalizes with the standard model below the temperature of neutrino-photon decoupling, equilibration and freeze-out cool and heat the standard model bath comparably, alleviating constraints from measurements of the effective number of neutrino species. We demonstrate this mechanism in a model consisting of fermionic dark matter coupled to a light scalar mediator. Thermal dark matter can be as light as a few keV, while remaining compatible with existing cosmological and astrophysical observations. This framework motivates new experiments in the direct search for sub-MeV thermal dark matter and light force carriers.