Febrile seizure (convulsions with fever)

Head | General Practice | Febrile seizure (convulsions with fever) (Disease)


A febrile seizure, also known as a fever fit or febrile convulsion, is a convulsion associated with a significant rise in body temperature. They most commonly occur in children between the ages of 6 months to 6 years and are twice as common in boys as in girls.

During a febrile seizure, a child often loses consciousness and shakes, moving limbs on both sides of the body. Less commonly, the child becomes rigid or has twhiches in only a portion of the body, such as an arm or a leg, or on the right or the left side only. Most febrile seizures last a minute or two, although some can be as brief as a few seconds while others last for more than 15 minutes.

Causes and Risk factors

Febrile convulsions only happen when there is a sudden rise in body temperature. The fever is usually due to a viral illness or, sometimes, a bacterial infection. The growing brain of a child is more sensitive to fever than an adult brain. Febrile convulsions tend to run in families, although the reason for this is unknown.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Although they can be frightening to parents, the vast majority of febrile seizures are harmless. During a seizure, there is a small chance that the child may be injured by falling or may choke from food or saliva in the mouth. Using proper first aid for seizures can help avoid these hazards

Treatment includes: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications/NSAIDs (ibuprofen), acetaminophen, and antibiotics if a bacterial infection is found or suspected. Hospital admission is considered if the child does not recover with the fever resolved, for serious infections, or if there are multiple seizures. ...

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