Febrile seizure in children (seizure from high fever)

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This is an article from our “Doctor’s Corner” series, brought to you by Samitivej Hospital. Make sure to read the entire series!

Febrile seizure happens during a high fever and affects children between 6 months to 6 years old. The seizure usually occurs on the first day of the fever. Even though the seizure seems scary, it is over within a few minutes and does not cause any other health problems.

Febrile Seizure

Symptoms of febrile seizure
During the seizure, the child will have the following symptoms:

  • Twitching of the arms and legs
  • Twitching of the body
  • Moaning or crying
  • Unconsciousness

What to do during febrile seizure

  • Stay calm and be with the child to provide assistance
  • Protect the child from danger that may occur. Remove any sharp or hard objects away from the child.
  • Support the child’s head with a pillow or a smooth and soft object.
  • Place the child on his or her side to prevent choking
  • Loosen the clothing
  • Sponge the child to reduce the fever. Use a towel to sponge the child with room temperature water. Massage the child’s hands and feet to stimulate the blood circulation
  • If the child vomits or if there is food in the child’s mouth, remove it immediately and be careful of choking
  • If the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes, ask someone to call the nearest emergency services. Do not leave the child unattended.
  • Do not put any object in the child’s mouth to prevent the child from biting the tongue. This may cause injuries in the mouth.
  • Do not try to hold or restrain the child during the seizure and when the hands and legs are twitching as this may harm you and the child.
  • Do not give any medicines or water during the seizure.
  • Do not be frightened. Febrile seizure usually lasts 3 minutes and stops on its own. The child may turn slightly blue and this is normal during a seizure.
Looking for a doctor for your child pulmonary care questions? We recommend:
Subun Suwatanapongched, M.D.Subun Suwatanapongched, M.D.
Pediatrics – Pediatrics Pulmonology, Samitivej Hospital
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

Looking after the child after a febrile seizure
The child may appear to be confused, disoriented or sleepy after a seizure. Allow the child to sleep. Some children may appear to be irritable, cranky or vomit. Some children may bite their tongue or cheek. Use a clean towel to compress the wound to stop the bleeding.

How to prevent febrile seizure
Febrile seizure cannot be prevented and no one knows when they will occur. Therefore, when a child has high fever, give them fever-reducing medicine and sponge them to reduce the fever. Most importantly, after a febrile seizure occurs, bring the child to see the physician to examine the child and to receive treatment.

Samitivej, We Care!

Subun Suwatanapongched, M.D.
Pediatrics – Pediatrics Pulmonology
Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital

For further information, please contact:

Child Health Institute
Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
2st Floor, Building 2
Tel: 66 (0) 2711-8236-7
Call Center: 66 (0) 2711-8181
E-mail: info@samitivej.co.th
Facebook: www.facebook.com/samitivej

Photo Credit: Adrian Dreßler via Compfight cc

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