Febrile seizures Guide

Febrile seizures

What is Febrile seizures?

Children who are running a high fever may have a fit. This is called a febrile seizure. This usually happens during the first few hours of a fever. The child may have a strange look for a few moments, then stiffen, twitch, and roll his eyes. Following this he may not respond to what is being said to him for a short time. After the seizure, he quickly returns to normal. The seizure usually lasts less than 1 minute. Febrile seizures rarely happen more than once within a 24-hour period.These seizures need to be differentiated from other kinds of seizures (ones that are not caused by fever) that usually last longer, can affect only one part of the body, and may occur repeatedly. Although febrile seizures may appear very scary, they do not cause brain damage, nervous system problems, paralysis, mental retardation, or death.

What is the treatment of Febrile seizures?

The paediatrician will examine the child to make sure that it is indeed a febrile seizure and not due to a serious infection like meningitis, especially if the child is younger than 1 year of age.It is most important to determine and treat the cause of the fever rather than the seizure. Cold sponging and medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or nimesulide may be given to bring the fever down. Anti-fever drugs help lower the fever, but they do not prevent febrile seizures. The doctor may advise a spinal tap called lumbar puncture to exclude the possibility of meningitis. In general, medicines called anti-convulsants that are used to prevent future episodes are not recommended in cases of simple febrile seizures. However, this should be discussed with the paediatrician. In cases of prolonged or repeated seizures, the recommendation may be different.

DoctorNDTV Team

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