Febrile Convulsion
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As the body temperature controls of very small children are not fully developed, they are the ones who are prone to frequent fevers. Occurrence of fits as a result of high fever is a common phenomenon with children. These fits are known as febrile convulsions.

These fits or seizures occur in a child with high fever of over 102.2°F (39°C). These febrile convulsions generally occur at an early stage of other infections like viral infections, respiratory infections, etc where the fever rises rapidly.

Though febrile convulsion affects about 1 out of 20 children in the age group of one to four years, it rarely takes a serious turn.

Causes of Febrile Convulsion

A lot of children suffer from febrile convulsions at one point of their childhood or the other. This is caused by an electrical system in the brain which fails to cope with the rising temperature as it remains less matured at that time.

There are certain conditions that can trigger off febrile convulsions, or increases its chances. They are as follows:

High temperature and a rapid rise in temperature

Inherit from parents or genetically predisposed to it

If elder siblings have suffered from it

Frequent infections and illness

If first attack of febrile convulsion was accompanied by a relatively low body temperature, that is below 102.2°F

After receiving the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. But this is very rare.

Symptoms of Febrile Convulsions

The common symptoms of febrile convulsions seen in children are

Brief seizures or fits (one minute to a maximum of five minutes)

Loss of consciousness

Becoming stiff

Stops breathing for about 30 seconds

Loses control of their bladder or bowel

Twitching or spasms of limbs and face muscles too

Rolling of the eyes upwards

The head is thrown backwards and the arms and legs begin to jerk

The skin becomes pale and sometimes turns blue for few seconds

The child falls asleep after the fit stops and remains irritable and confused after waking up.

Complications of Febrile Convulsions

The febrile convulsions do not generally lead to much of complications except frightening the people around the child. But it also increases the risk of another attack during the same illness or later. If febrile convulsion occurs before the age of one year, and if there is a family history, then the probability of recurrence remains.
The most important complication out of febrile convulsion is development of epilepsy, though this is very rare and occurs to those who suffer from febrile convulsions more frequently and for a longer period of time.

Treatment of Febrile Convulsions

There is no such treatment for febrile convulsions since this is a natural occurrence with a lot of children. However, certain methods can be adopted as follows:

Try and stop the child from hurting himself, but do not hold him tightly.

Do not put anything in their mouth, not even water.

Place them in a recovery position

Call the doctor

Cool the room to bring the temperature down

Loosen their clothes

Turn the child’s head sideways to prevent choking

If the child has suffered from convulsions before, diazepam is given through rectum using a rectal tube.

After the attack, some doctors advice mild painkillers or paracetamol to bring down the temperature

Prompt medical treatment and hospitalization might be required for some children


No matter how frightening these febrile convulsions might seem to be, they rarely cause any long term injury. But if it occurs frequently, then mild brain dysfunction can occur.

Certain measures can be taken to lower the risk of febrile convulsion attacks, like:

Keeping a close check on the child suffering from high temperature

Temperature lowering medicines can be given

Keeping medicines like diazepam in hand

Consult the doctor immediately, and hospitalize the child if necessary.

Post Your Comments

Comment Script


it was informative and i got to know few things which my paediatrician has not told me
#1 - purnima - 09/20/2009 - 06:04
it was very helpful and easy to understand i now know how to deal with them if my daughter should have another 1
#2 - angie kelleher - 10/23/2009 - 15:56
it was very helpful and easy to understand....wish i kneew it before my son had it for the first time i wouldn't have panicked so much...!
#3 - manisha - 11/05/2009 - 05:26
#4 - PAUL C A BUNDE - 12/29/2009 - 11:33
it helps me a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!
knowing about it.........
#5 - claire - 01/06/2010 - 20:30
Your article is informative. However, I feel that any imbalance in the boday causes an ailment. So, what is the imbalance / deficiency that leads to this? Please reply on [email protected]
#6 - Imran Kazi - 07/19/2010 - 00:48
This is informative. especially the fact that MMR vaccine can cause this was not known to me. My daughter got fever 4 days after MMR and febrile convulsion on the 5th day. Can it be because of MMR?
#7 - madhura - 07/29/2010 - 00:07
its very informative. its make my mind clear about fits in childrens.
#8 - Butt - 08/18/2010 - 04:40
Its make my mind clear, and oblized if p[@] me the detail information about febrile convulsions in my 11 year old son.
#9 - KIRTI - 10/19/2010 - 12:18
i was really worried as my 2 and half old son suffered 2 attacks in a months gap.. hope he does not get it again.. touch wood, this article is very usefull to me

#10 - jayjey - 11/08/2010 - 04:10
I have a 10 month old daughter who is suffering from this and the information shared was really helpful. I pray from that no parent should come across such a harrowing situation. thanks for the infomation it really helped
#11 - Emmanuel - 12/28/2010 - 12:49
Very informative. I am in such a problem with my child. My worry is that he might develop into epilepsy and probably brain damage. However, i think you were somehow polite in saying that the convulsions real cause brain damage. Above all I thank you very much for the information.
#12 - E. Muhau - 01/02/2011 - 04:44
My child is 4 year and she is real in problem of febrile convulsions. When it started it was occuring every one hour and it could take about 1 to 4 minutes. After that he would sleep for quite a long time. Now it is still ocurring but at a reduced rate. He can convulse once or twice in one week. It is now about one year since it started. My fear is that this might develop into eplepsy or have brain damage. However, I felt relieved when I read the information about convulsions. This is real important information and is lacking in many hosptals in my country. Many doctors which I visted could not real give me the advice I thought might help.
#13 - Muhau Edgar - 01/02/2011 - 04:53
Thax God it not very dangerous ,My 15month son suffered from it yesterday for the first time . This article si really very helpful
#14 - juni roy - 03/08/2011 - 02:12
Unfortunately I have had 2 of my sons have convulsions - my best advice is to see a naturopath/homeopath and get your child on
Kindervital Floradix for children to build up their immune system. Both my sons (31 & 22years of age) are healthy intelligent young men now. See your Doctor first of course, however do see a good naturopath/homeopath as well.
#15 - Robyn - 08/17/2011 - 07:14
Thank God it not very dangerous, My 21 months daughter suffered from it today for the first time...... This article is being remedy for us..........
#16 - Nitin Joshi - 09/06/2011 - 12:47
My lil girl suffered 3 in 1 day couple of days ago and it was the scariest experience I have ever gone through - I thought we nearly lost her! Thank goodness though for articles like this as alot of information that was given was not from the Dr's. I honestly think that Febrile Convulsion information should be given to every parent when they leave a hospital as it is more common than what I thought!
#17 - I thoKarina - 10/26/2011 - 22:07
To follow good care of the children this article helped me
#18 - dany - 06/15/2012 - 06:39
All the articles say that children outgrow this by the age of 5 but my 8 year old suffered it for the first time today.
#19 - Ravi - 11/02/2012 - 22:42
wow, this happened to my son tonight, the scariest moment i have ever witnessed, poor little bugger has no idea what happened, luckily ambulance got out to farm quickly to help sooth dad and brother and also run diagnostics on the boy
#20 - ian - 03/05/2013 - 05:14
thnx for this article kindly give more information about the sideaffects of convulsion on the basis of period of convulsion
#21 - anglina - 07/26/2013 - 05:20
Sir my daughter is of 4 year now ,she had that problem but doctor start velprin 3 ml now ,start at 6 month of age,what I should do now ,she is little back in speech and running,studies , general other things like understanding,playing ,fighting is normal ,what's it advice
My mail [email protected]
#22 - Sanjeev kumar - 11/05/2016 - 22:41
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