What Are Febrile (Fever) Seizures?
If your child ever had a febrile (fever) seizure, it's something you probably won't forget. Although these can look frightening, there are usually no long-term consequences.
The exact mechanism behind the seizures is unknown to doctors. The seizure could occur if your child has fever above 100.4 F. The seizure will be obvious and you may feel her burning. This could be your first sign that she's sick.
Who gets a Februaryrile Seizure
They are available for kids aged 3 to 6 years old. However, they are more common for toddlers aged 12-18 months. They are usually outgrown by 6 years of age.
A second seizure is much more probable for a child if there are other children in the family who have. Your child is also more likely to have a second seizure if he or she has already had one.
How does it look?
This depends on which type of febrile seizure.
The most common type of seizures are simple seizures. They usually last for a few minutes. They can also last up to 15 minutes.
These symptoms include:
- You may experience convulsions (waving and twitching) all over your body.
- Fieber of at least 100.4
- You may lose bladder or bowel control
- From biting down, bleeding of the tongue and mouth
It's possible for your child to feel confused or sleepy after the procedure is completed.
Complex seizures: They are more rare and last up to 15 minutes. One seizure may be more frequent than another. One part of your child's body might twitch, shake or tremble. You may notice weakness in her arm and leg.
Complex febrile seizures can be more concerning. This may warrant additional testing, such as imaging and lab work.
They are caused by:
If your child gets a fever and is younger than 6, it is called a febrile seizure. These are the top causes of a fever.
Infections: Your child may develop a fever if she has been infected with a virus or bacteria. Roseola (also known as sixth illness) is often the culprit, as it can cause a rapid spike in fever.
Some immunizations may be followed by a fever, especially the MMR vaccine. A shot can cause a child to take a temperature between 8 and 14 days later.
How can I help my child?
To prevent injury, be calm and quick
- Place your child on a stable surface (e.g. the floor), so that she doesn't slip.
- Place her on your side to prevent saliva and vomit from getting into her lungs.
- You should not give your child anything.
- Do not try to hold the girl down, or control her convulsions.
As long as your seizure does not last more than 10 minutes, and your child remains stable/breathing, you should call your doctor. You may need to take your child to the doctor to determine what is causing this fever.
Children under the age of 12 months may require medical testing. A doctor will want to confirm that your fever is not due to meningitis. This is a serious condition in which the brain's lining becomes infected.
What should I do if I require emergency assistance?
For any of the following:
- Seizure can last longer than five minutes
- The child may have difficulty breathing or has blue eyes.
- One part of your body may be jerking or twitching.
- Your child behaves strangely an hour later.
- Her appearance is dehydrated.
- In 24 hours another seizure takes place.
Is It Possible?
Around 35% of the children who experience a febrile seizure in their childhood will have another within one or two years. A repeat is more common for children who were younger than 15 years when the first seizure occurred.
This won't always happen if your child is ill with a fever, or at the same temperature.
What can I do for my child?
You may be prescribed long-term anti-seizure medication by your doctor to take home. Complex seizures are more likely to have this happen. Convulsions can be stopped by a single dose of diazepam. If the seizure is severe, this medication should be administered within 5 minutes.
Do Febrile Seizures Cause Other Problems?
Simple febrile seizures do not cause brain damage and will not affect the ability of your child to learn. It's not the same thing as epilepsy. This is when your child experiences two or more seizures, but not a fever. Having febrile seizures only slightly raises your child's chances of eventually getting epilepsy.
A simple febrile seizure should not affect your child's ability to learn and develop normally. One simple febrile seizure shouldn't have any lasting effects.