Febrile seizures

What are febrile seizures?

Seizures are waves of abnormal electrical activity in the brain, are caused by a fever, make you pass out, or move and behave strangely, can occur in children from 3 months to 6 years, and often run in the families.

What are the symptoms?

During a febrile seizure a child usually passes out and has jerking movements of the arms, legs or face. They can last 1 or 2 minutes but seldom until 15 or more. They usually take place during the first 24 hours of fever. After a seizure a child can be confused or sleepy or have short term weakness in his or her arm or leg (after a longer seizure).

How can I help my child during a seizure?

  • Put your child in his or her side
  • Do not put anything in the child’s mouth or try to stop the jerking movements
  • Record how long the seizure lasts. If it lasts more than 5 minutes call the 118 for an ambulance.

Does the child need to see a Doctor?

Yes, as soon as possible, to check for serious infections and eventually to make some tests.

How are febrile seizures treated?

Usually they cease by itself and don’t need any treatment. If a seizure lasts more than 5 minutes it may need an anti-seizure medicine to stop it.

Other treatments comprehend:

  • Medicines to bring down his or her fever
  • Drugs to treat the infection that is causing fever
  • Fluids to treat dehydration

Febrile seizures do not cause brain damage and are not a life long condition.