Febrile “fever” seizures
Febrile “Fever” Seizures In Children
Febrile “fever” seizures are the most common type of seizures in children. They most commonly occur in children under the age of five. While they may appear very frightening to the observer or parent, they generally are harmless to the child. They do not cause brain damage or put the child at risk of swallowing their tongue. Febrile seizures usually last only a couple minutes and then go away on their own. Having a febrile seizure does not mean the child necessarily needs to be hospitalized, but they should be seen by their doctor the same day to determine the need for further testing or treatment.
A fever is the body’s natural defense mechanism to fight off an infection. By raising its internal temperature, the body creates an inhospitable environment for the virus or bacteria infecting it. Having a fever less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit is probably beneficial and may not necessarily need to be aggressively treated with fever-reducing medicines.
Fevers above 101 should be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen (Motrin). If a fever ever gets above 104 degrees or will not get below 101 degrees with medicines, then you should contact your doctor. There is no set temperature that will trigger a seizure in children, but in general, the higher the temperature, the greater the risk.
If you happen to witness a child having a seizure you should:
• Put the child on their side so that they won’t choke on their saliva.
• Do not put anything in their mouth.
• Do not restrain their movements.
• Remain calm and monitor a clock (most seizures last only a minute or two).
• Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes.
• Contact their doctor for further instructions