Hippocrates described febrile convulsions, which occur in children with acute fever, as early as 400 B.C. He noted that they were characteristic of very young children, usually no older than seven years old and that older children, as well as adults, were not prone to such seizures.
But children’s febrile seizures can be frightening to parents, although they are rarely severe and often have no long-term consequences. But if you are a parent and are worried about your child, or if you think you have febrile seizures, don’t worry!
In this blog article, we’ll tell you more about what febrile seizure is, discuss the symptoms and causes, and discuss what parents can do to help their child during seizures. We hope this information lets you learn more about this common childhood illness.
What is a Febrile Seizure?
Frequent convulsions or seizures in children with a fever are known as febrile seizures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The term febrile convulsions are also used to describe these episodes.
It is the most prevalent seizure in babies and typically affects infants between six months and five years. They are short, only a few minutes long.
However, febrile seizures can strike older kids and adults in fewer instances.
Most seizures last under five minutes, and most children cease having them by the time they are four or five years old. Despite not being a severe medical condition, febrile seizures can be terrifying for parents and other caregivers.
Additionally, it is essential to remember that even though febrile seizures are not dangerous, they can be a symptom of a severe underlying infection. To rule out any other potential reasons, taking your child to the doctor is essential if they experience a seizure.
Febrile Seizure Symptoms
The main symptom of a febrile seizure is a seizure, an uncontrolled shaking of the body. It can occur when the child suddenly has a fever. Usually, a child’s body temperature rises quite quickly in these cases, and it can reach 105°F (40.5°C) or higher at the time of the seizure.
Most seizures last less than five minutes and do not cause lasting harm to the child. However, in rare cases, children’s febrile seizures may last longer and thus may require additional medical attention.
In addition to the seizures themselves, other symptoms, such as:
- Loss of consciousness. The child may lose consciousness and fall, so there is a high risk of injury.
- Uncontrolled body shaking. The child’s entire body may shake uncontrollably and beat convulsively.
- Loss of bladder or bowel control. During a seizure, the child may wet himself or empty his bowels.
- Biting of the tongue or lips. During a seizure, the child may bite the tongue or lip, which can cause bleeding.
- After the seizure, the child may be confused and sleepy. He may also have a headache or vomit. These symptoms usually go away within an hour or two.
- Paralysis. In sporadic cases, febrile seizures can cause paralysis. It is usually temporary and goes away within a few hours.
It is important to note that febrile seizures in children and adults may vary, and not all seizures include all the symptoms listed. If your child has a seizure that lasts more than five minutes, or if they have more than one seizure, you should seek medical attention immediately, as it may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
What Causes Febrile Seizures
It isn’t easy to find a solution when searching for an answer to the question of what causes febrile seizures. Unfortunately, the exact cause is not known. But there is a common belief that most febrile seizures are caused by a sudden spike in body temperature, which may be caused by an infection or disease, such as meningitis, pneumonia, or ear infections.
Infections are not the only potential cause of febrile seizures. Other possible causes include the following:
|Dehydration||Seizures are thought to be caused by dehydration, which can cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure and body temperature.|
|Vaccination||It is possible that seizures in babies can be caused by certain immunizations, such as the MMR (mumps, measles, and rubella) vaccine.|
|Exposure to extreme cold or heat||Seizures may be caused by exposure to extreme cold or heat, which can also cause a sudden drop in body temperature.|
|Metabolic abnormalities||In rare cases, seizures may be caused by metabolic disorders such as diabetes or hypoglycemia.|
|Traumatic brain injury||Seizures may be caused by head trauma.|
Complications of Febrile Seizures
In most cases, febrile convulsions are not a cause for concern and will not have any long-term effects on the child’s health. However, in rare cases, seizures can lead to complications such as:
- Status epilepticus: This is a medical emergency where the seizure lasts more than five minutes or the child has multiple seizures in a row. It can be dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.
- Brain damage: This is very rare, but in some cases, a febrile seizure can cause brain damage. It is more likely to happen if the child has a prolonged seizure or multiple seizures.
- Sudden death: This is also very rare, but in some cases, a febrile seizure can lead to premature death. It is more likely to happen in children with febrile seizures lasting more than 15 minutes.
Febrile Seizures in Children
Children get febrile seizures more frequently than adults, and most disappear when they start school. There is a slight chance that seizures can come again later in life or when the person is an adult.
Most young patients with febrile seizures only experience one seizure. Children, however, occasionally experience many seizures. If a child has a neurological condition like epilepsy or a family history of seizures, seizures are more likely to reoccur.
If your child has a febrile seizure, it is crucial to stay calm and let them rest. You should also call the doctor if the seizure lasts more than five minutes or if your child has more than one seizure.
Seizures can be frightening, but it is essential to remember that it is nothing to worry about, and most children recover quickly. With the proper care, your child will soon return to everyday life. And a qualified doctor will help you do just that.
At Lone Star Neurology, you will find a doctor to help you with your treatment. We have a wide range of services and offer the latest treatment options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
- What does a febrile seizure look like?
A febrile seizure may look like any other, with convulsions and loss of consciousness. The child may also have stiff muscles and may bite their tongue.
- Are febrile seizures an emergency?
No, febrile seizures are not an emergency. However, if the seizure lasts more than five minutes or the child has multiple seizures, it is considered a medical emergency.
- What is the prognosis of febrile seizures?
The prognosis of febrile seizures is excellent. Most children who have a febrile seizure will not have any long-term effects. In rare cases, seizures can lead to complications such as status epilepticus, brain damage, or sudden death.
- What are the major risk factors for febrile seizure?
The major risk factor for febrile seizures is a family history of seizures. Other risk factors include immunizations, extreme cold or heat exposure, metabolic disorders, and head trauma.
- Do febrile seizures cause damage?
In most cases, febrile seizures are not a cause for concern and will not have any long-term effects on the child’s health. However, rare seizures can lead to complications such as brain damage.
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