About one in every 25 children experience febrile seizures. Brought on by a fever and commonly seen in children between six months and five years, they can last less than 15 minutes (simple) or longer than 15 minutes (complex). “Typically, they last a couple of minutes,” says Dr. Lily Tran.
Seeing your child experience a febrile seizure can be scary, but unless they go on for five minutes or longer, they are not life-threatening, says Dr. Tran. “Overwhelmingly, the kids will turn out fine,” says Dr. Tran. “If it’s the first time, it’s not unusual to take the child to the emergency room to identify the cause of fever and have a medical evaluation.” Typically there is a family history of febrile seizures.
If your child experiences a febrile seizure, use these tips when responding:
- Lay the child on the ground, on his or her side
- Time the seizure
- Take the child’s temperature
If it’s the first seizure, seek medical attention and call 911 if it lasts longer than 5 minutes. “If a child has a fever, take the routine practice to treat it, including keeping your child well hydrated and seeking medical advice regarding treatment of the fever,” says Dr. Tran.
FEBRILE FOLLOW UP
“Parents may see their child be tired, sleepy or irritable following a seizure, but he/she should return to his/her baseline self within a couple of hours and continue to recover to their normal self. If parents have any concerns, they should contact their medical provider.” says Dr. Tran.
- Percent of pediatric population that has febrile seizures: 2 to 5
- Amount of febrile seizures that occur after the first one: 30%
- Percent of children that will develop risk of epilepsy after febrile seizure: 2 to 3%