October 6, 2022

What To Do If Your Child Experiences Febrile Seizures

So I’m going to breakdown febrile seizures for you. Febrile seizures are scary, scary, scary to parents, grandparents, caregivers but they do not cause brain damage and that’s the most important thing that I want you to remember from this little session. So who gets febrile seizures? Febrile seizures occur in about 2 to 4 percent of children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years of age. Most of those children going to be between the ages of 12 and 18 months when they had their first febrile seizure.
So when does the febrile seizure happen? Is it everytime that they have a fever? Is it with every illness? Is it after MBO immunization? No, so febrile seizures tend to happen on the first day of your illness. There are certain illnesses that we see it more commonly with. I see a lot of kids with ear infections that will have a febrile seizure.
Roseola is another common illness that can sometimes cause a fever that will trigger a febrile seizure and after some immunizations you can have a febrile seizure. Generally the temperature scenes with a febrile seizure over a hundred and 102.2 but we can see them at lower temperatures as well.
I’ve seen them as low as temperatures at one hundred point five to a hundred. So most febrile seizures are simple which means that they last less than 15 minutes. You’re generally going to see that your child is not responsive to you and is shaking arms and legs.
These simple febrile seizures are generally not something to worry about and most of the time they actually last less than a minute or two very rarely longer than five. The other type of febrile seizures is the complex febrile seizures which recur within 24 hours tend to be quite a bit longer and oftentimes will have unusual movements during the seizure. So what should you do if your child has a febrile seizure? Well the first thing is not to panic.
You want to make sure you lay your child on their side, make sure that their airway is clear, don’t put anything in their mouth, don’t try to stop the seizure by holding the child’s arms or legs down because you won’t be able to if the seizures last longer than five minutes.
You want to make sure that you call EMS. So call your ambulance if it’s lasting longer than five minutes. Most parents, the first time their child has a febrile seizure, are going to call the ambulance or bring their child into the ER or bring their child to the pediatrician.
I think that’s a good idea because we do want to look- talk about the febrile seizure the first time it happens and also try to find a source for the fever that caused it. If your child’s under a year you want to make sure that any time they have a febrile seizure that they get evaluated to look for the reason for the infection.
So only the doctor or the emergency room do if my child has a febrile seizure it’s a really good question. So if you bring your child in with a febrile seizure it kind of depends on the age of your child, the way that your child looks, and then the length of the seizure.
So for example if you have a healthy two-year-old who comes in, has cold symptoms, has a fever has a first-time febrile seizure that last a minute or two and now she’s awake and playing and eating a popsicle and we find her to have an ear infection.
What we’re probably going to do at that point is talk to you a lot about febrile seizures and then send her home with some antibiotics for her ear infection. Now if you have a younger child there might be more evaluation involved. Possibly some blood work trying to determine the reason for the fever.
So then is it going to happen again? Do I have to deal with this every time my child has a fever or has an immunization or gets sick with a cold? And the answer to that is no. Only about one-third of children will have a second febrile seizure.
So a third of us may, a third of us- two-thirds of us will never have another experience with seizures. So then how do you prevent the febrile seizure from happening? Parents always want to know if they should give Tylenol or Motrin to brace to make sure that the child doesn’t have a fever if they get sick with a cold or if they have their immunizations.
And the truth is if that actually doesn’t work so we don’t recommend that you give Tylenol or Motrin to your child unless they actually have a fever because giving it before they get a fever will not prevent them from having a febrile seizure. And remember again they’re not going to have a seizure every time they have a fever.
So the other thing that parents are always worried about with febrile seizures is whether or not your child is going to have epilepsy because they had a febrile seizure. The risk for epilepsy for a healthy child who had simple febrile seizures is about the same as the general population.
Meaning no, just because your child has simple febrile seizures does not mean that they’re going to have a seizure disorder which is what epilepsy is. Complex web browsers which are much less common a family history of seizure disorders or a history in your child of any kind of developmental disorders will increase their risk for epilepsy developing should they have febrile seizures.
So febrile seizures are scary they don’t cause brain damage though and they don’t generally increase the risk of your child having a seizure disorder later in life. So don’t panic if it happens make sure you talk to your pediatrician. [Music]

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