Febrile seizures are fits that happen when a child develops a fever, and often they occur between six months and three years. The condition can be frightening and distressing to see when it happens to a child, specifically if it’s their first seizure.
Nevertheless, these seizures are harmless, and almost all children completely recover from the condition.
Febrile seizures symptoms
The febrile seizure is more likely to last less than five minutes. During the episode, the child will:
- Become stiff, and their arms and legs might begin to twitch
- Loose consciousness and might wet or soil themselves
- They might also become sick, form foam at the mouth, and their eyes may roll back
After the seizure episode, the child may feel sleepy for up to an hour.
Occasionally, febrile seizures can last longer than fifteen minutes, and symptoms affect only one area of the child’s body. These are complex febrile seizures and sometimes happen again within a day, or during the period your child is ill.
Febrile seizures causes
The causes of febrile seizures are still unknown, though they are likely linked to high temperature (fever). Infections like chickenpox, flu, tonsillitis, or ear infection can cause high temperatures.
- There might also be a hereditary link to febrile seizures, as the chances of having a febrile seizure are high if a close family member has one history.
In rare cases, febrile seizures can happen to a child after the vaccination.
Consult a doctor if:
It’s unlikely that a doctor will see a seizure happening, so it’s better to note the description of what happened.
- How long the seizure lasted
- What happened, like the twitching of the face, legs, and arms, body stiffening, or loss of consciousness
- Whether the recovery happened within one hour
- Whether they have had a seizure before
The doctor might prescribe a blood or urine test to determine the cause. Further tests and observations are also usually recommended if the symptoms are unusual or the child has a complex febrile. Those tests are:
- ECG (electroencephalogram)
- Lumbar puncture
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022