Is your child suffering from a high fever?
Did he/she have a seizure?
Was there a loss of consciousness?
If yes, then you should immediately consult Dr. Ramit Singh Sambyal to rule out any further complications.
Dr. Ramit Singh Sambyal is one of the young, dynamic, and best general physician in Vasant Kunj, Delhi who specializes in Emergency Medicine. In his seven-plus years of practice, he has successfully handled many complex and complicated cases. He is an expert in treating all non-surgical medical conditions, which include cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and many more. Dr. Ramit Singh Sambyal is very adept in dealing with a pediatric emergency which includes febrile seizure.
What is a Febrile Seizure?
Febrile seizures are convulsion that happens to young children due to high fever. It usually occurs in children aged 3
months to 6 years.
There might be cold, flu, or infection along with the fever. Sometimes, the child may not be suffering from fever at the time of seizure and may develop it later.
Most febrile convulsions last for a few minutes, which seems like an eternity. Fortunately, they are mostly harmless and do not cause any long-term health issues.
Symptoms of Febrile Seizure
- Simple febrile seizure: They are more common and last from a few seconds up to 15 minutes. They do not recur within 24 hours and are not specific to a single part of the body.
- Symptoms of simple febrile seizure:
- Fever higher than 100.4 F
- Twitching and shaking of the body and limbs
- Loss of consciousness
- Complex febrile seizures: These are less common and can last for more than 15 minutes. Further, they may occur more than once in 24 hours or maybe confined to one side of the body. The child may feel weakness in the arms and legs afterward. Complex febrile convulsions are of greater concern and may require a proper medical examination or hospital admission. Book an Appointment now.
What are the causes of febrile seizures?
- Infection: Most fevers due to viral infection, or bacterial infection can cause a febrile seizure. Roseola which is caused by the influenza virus is often the culprit as it causes fever to spike.
- Vaccinations: After immunization for measles, rubella, mumps, tetanus your child may get a fever, and this may increase the risk of febrile seizure. It is the fever and not the vaccine that causes a seizure.
- They are between 3 months to 6 years of age. The risk is more for the age group between 12 to 18 months.
- There is a family history of having seizures with fever.
Generally, the febrile seizure does not cause any long-term side-effects. Simple febrile convulsions do not cause brain damage, learning disability, or intellectual disability.
Also, these seizures do not indicate epilepsy. Febrile seizures are provoked, whereas epilepsy is a condition that is characterized by unprovoked seizures.
However, there are chances of recurrent febrile seizures, and the risks are high if:
- The child has a low temperature during a seizure
- The duration between the start of fever and seizure was short
- An immediate family member having a history of febrile convulsions
- The first febrile seizure occurs when your child is less than 18 months.
When do you require a pediatric emergency?
- The seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes
- Only one part of the body is twitching
- The child has trouble breathing and is turning blue
- The child is acting oddly after the seizure
Febrile Seizures treatment:
- You must contact a doctor in the pediatric emergency department immediately after the seizure. According to Dr. Ramit Singh Sambyal, this is crucial as the doctor needs to examine the child to make sure it does not have meningitis, which can be serious.
- The doctor will perform a few tests to make sure that the seizure was not caused due to any underlying health issue or a more serious condition. Also, blood and urine will be examined to find the cause of the fever.
- The child might need hospitalization if the seizure was very prolonged, there is a serious infection, or the child is younger than 6 months. In most cases of febrile seizure, there is usually no need for hospitalization.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What happens after a febrile seizure?
After the seizure, your child may be sleepy for up to an hour. A straightforward febrile seizure like this will only happen once during your child's illness. Occasionally, febrile seizures can last longer than 15 minutes and symptoms may only affect one area of your child's body.
Q. How do you prevent febrile seizures?
Febrile seizures cannot be prevented by giving the child lukewarm baths, applying cool cloths to the child's head or body, or using fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Doing these things may make a feverish child feel better, but they do not prevent febrile seizures.
Q. How common is febrile seizure?
How common are febrile seizures? Febrile seizures are the most common type of convulsions in infants and young children and occur in 2 to 5 percent of American children before age 5. Approximately 40 percent of children who experience one febrile seizure will have a recurrence.