What You Need to Know About Febrile Seizures

Febrile seizures can be the most terrifying thing a parent can see their child experience. Read on to learn what they are, who they can affect and what to do if someone you love has one.

What is a febrile seizure?

A febrile seizure is a convulsion caused by a fever above 100.4F or 38C. They will usually stop on their own without treatment.

Who can have a febrile seizure?

A febrile seizure usually occurs in children between 6 months and 5 years of age.

What are the symptoms to look for?

Simple febrile seizure:

  • convulse, shake, and twitch all over
  • roll the eyes
  • moan
  • become unconscious (pass out)
  • vomit or urinate (pee) during the convulsions

Complex febrile seizures: last longer than 10 minutes, happen more than once in 24 hours, and involve movement or twitching of only one part or one side of the body

What to do if your child is having a febrile seizure?

  • Stay calm.
  • Protect the child from injury.
  • Do not attempt to restrain or hold the child down during the seizure.
  • Turn the child onto his or her side if vomiting occurs.
  • Do not put anything in your child's mouth.
  • Loosen clothing.
  • Support your child's head with a pillow or soft object.
  • Try to note how long the seizure lasts, what types of movements are occurring, and which parts of the body it is affecting.
  • Notify your doctor.
  • After the seizure subsides, your child will be disoriented for a few minutes while the brain rests and recharges. This is normal.

It can be terrifying to witness your child go through this but it is a normal reaction to illnesses in children that are accompanied by fevers. Do everything you can to stay calm and know that your child will heal and that fevers are a sign of your child fighting off sickness.