What is a febrile seizure?
When young children have a seizure, it is often caused by a fever over 102 ° F (38.9 ° C). These are called “febrile seizures”. Febrile seizures can occur in children between 6 months and 5 years, but are most common in young children who are between 12 months and 18 months.
Febrile seizures are scary, but not as dangerous as they seem.
How serious are febrile seizures?
Generally, febrile seizures are not harmful to a child. A febrile seizure does not cause brain damage. Also, your child can not swallow their tongue during a seizure (it is physically impossible for anyone to swallow the tongue). Generally, febrile seizures last a few minutes. It is very unusual for a febrile seizure to last more than 5 minutes. Generally, a child who has had a febrile seizure does not require hospitalization, and you may not need an x-ray or an EEG. Your child only needs to be seen by your family doctor in order to determine the cause of the fever.
How will I know my child is having a febrile seizure?
If your child has a febrile seizure, your child may become unconscious. It is possible that the arms and legs of your child becomes rigid. Your child may also vomit. After a seizure, your child may feel drowsy and confused.
What should I do if my child has a seizure?
- Place your child on his side, to not choke on saliva or vomit.
- Do not put anything in your child’s mouth.
- Do not restrict your child’s movements during the seizure.
- Try to stay calm. Most seizures stop on their own within a few minutes. So keep your eyes on a clock or watch.
- Call 911 if the seizure lasts more than 10 minutes or is accompanied by stiff neck, vomiting or breathing problems.
- Do not try to reduce the fever your child with a cold bath, especially during a seizure.
What should I do after the seizure has stopped?
Call your doctor. Your doctor may want to see your child to determine the cause of the fever.