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Febrile Seizure In Children

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What is a febrile seizure in children?

A febrile seizure is a convulsion (uncontrolled shaking) caused by a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. A fever caused by any reason can bring on a febrile seizure in children. Febrile seizures can be simple or complex. A simple febrile seizure lasts less than 15 minutes and does not happen again within 24 hours. A complex febrile seizure lasts longer than 15 minutes or may happen again within 24 hours.

What increases my child's risk for a febrile seizure?

Febrile seizure is the most common seizure in children 6 months to 5 years of age. The following may increase your child's risk for a febrile seizure:

  • A family history of epilepsy or febrile seizures
  • Recent vaccination for measles, mumps, rubella, or tetanus
  • A history of a febrile seizure
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Developmental delay or premature birth
  • Maternal use of alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy with the child

What are the signs and symptoms of a febrile seizure?

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Eye rolling up and back into his head
  • Arm, leg, or facial twitching or jerking
  • Stiff arms or legs

How is a febrile seizure diagnosed and treated?

  • Tell your child's healthcare provider about any recent illnesses or immunizations that your child has had. Also tell him about any family history of seizures and what your child's seizure looked like. Your child may need blood or urine tests to check for infection and get information about his overall health.
  • Your child's healthcare provider will examine him and test his neuro signs. Neuro signs show healthcare providers your child's brain function. They will check how his pupils react to light. They may check his memory and how easily he wakes up. Your child's hand grasp and balance may also be tested. More tests may be needed if your child's neuro checks are abnormal.
  • Your child may be given medicine to decrease his fever or prevent another seizure. He may also be given medicine to treat an infection that may have caused his seizure.

What should I do if my child has another febrile seizure?

  • Do not panic.
  • Note the start time of the seizure. Record how long it lasts.
  • Gently guide your child to the floor or a soft surface. Remove sharp or hard objects from the area surrounding him, or cushion his head.
    First Aid: Convulsions
  • Place your child on his side to help prevent him from swallowing saliva or vomit.
    First Aid: Convulsions
  • Remove any objects from your child's mouth. Do not put anything in your child's mouth. This may prevent him from breathing.
  • Perform CPR if your child stops breathing or you cannot feel his pulse.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child stops breathing, turns blue, or you cannot feel his pulse.
  • Your child cannot be woken after his seizure.
  • Your child's seizure lasts more than 5 minutes.
  • Your child has more than 1 seizure before he is fully awake or aware.

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

  • Your child's fever does not improve after you give him medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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