Febrile seizures are convulsions that occur in some children with fevers. They affect kids 6 months to 5 years old (most commonly, toddlers 12-18 months old), and usually happen on the first day of a fever above 100.4°F (38°C).
Although they can be frightening, febrile seizures usually stop on their own after a few minutes and don't cause any other health problems.
Signs and Symptoms
During a febrile seizure, your child may:
have jerking movements
convulse, shake, or twitch
What to Do
If you think your child is having a seizure due to fever, try to stay calm and:
make sure your child is in a safe place and cannot fall down or hit something hard
lay your child on his or her side to prevent choking
watch for signs of breathing difficulty, including bluish color in the face
try to keep track of how long the seizure lasts
call your doctor for an evaluation when the seizure is over
Seek Emergency Medical Care
If Your Child:
has a febrile seizure that lasts more than 10 minutes
No one knows why febrile seizures happen, so they usually can't be prevented. If your child is uncomfortable due to the fever, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed. It's important to call your doctor for an evaluation after a febrile seizure.