A febrile seizure is basically a fit that occurs when a child has a fever. These seizures are also called as febrile convulsions. They are quite common and are not serious in most cases.
Most children will experience at least one febrile seizure at some point. The febrile seizures typically occur between 6 months up to 3 years. During a febrile seizure, the body of the child becomes stiff, lose consciousness and there is evident twitching of the legs and arms. In some children, they may even wet themselves.
What to do during a febrile seizure?
When a child is having a febrile seizure, place him/her in the recovery position. All you have to do is lay on the side with the face turned to one side. This position will prevent swallowing any vomit, keep the airway open as well as prevent injury.
You have to stay with the child and make sure that you noted how long the seizure lasts. If this is the first seizure experienced by the child or one that lasts longer than 5 minutes, bring to the nearest emergency department. Even though there is nothing seriously wrong, it is best to be safe.
Once the child has febrile seizures before and an episode lasts less than 5 minutes, it is best to consult a doctor for advice. Do not give the child any medication during an episode since there is a chance that he/she might bite the tongue. In most cases, children can fully recover after an episode of a febrile seizure.
What are the types of febrile seizures?
It is important to note that there are two major types of febrile seizures that you should be familiar with.
Simple febrile seizure
When it comes to a simple febrile seizure, it is the most common type that lasts less than 15 minutes and does not recur within 24 hours. It is also called as a tonic clonic seizure.
Complex febrile seizure
This type of febrile seizure is considered uncommon. A complex febrile seizure spans lengthier than 15 minutes, has symptoms affecting a single part of the body, child experiences another seizure within 24 hours after the first episode and the child does not recovery fully within an hour.
Why febrile seizures occur
The exact cause of febrile seizures is unknown, but they might be linked to the start of a fever. In most cases, fever is caused by an infection such as tonsillitis, chickenpox, middle ear infections and the flu.
There might be a genetic connection to febrile seizures since the chances of experiencing a seizure is heightened if a family member has history.