A febrile seizure is a convulsion that occurs in some children with a high temperature (fever). The vast majority of febrile seizures are not serious. Most occur with common illnesses such as ear infections and colds. Serious infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, etc, are less common causes. Full recovery with no permanent damage is usual. The main treatment is aimed at the illness that caused the fever.
A febrile seizure is sometimes called a febrile convulsion. Any illness that causes a fever (high temperature) can cause a febrile seizure. Most occur with common illnesses such as ear infections, coughs, colds, flu and other viral infections. Serious infections such as pneumonia, kidney infections, meningitis, etc, are less common causes.
About 3 in 100 children have a febrile seizure sometime before their sixth birthday. They most commonly occur between the ages of 18 months and three years. They are rare in children aged under six months and over the age of six years.
Note the time it started.
Lie the child on their side with their head in line with the body or slightly lower (the recovery position).
Do not put anything into their mouth or shake the child.
When the seizure stops, try to lower the child's temperature to make them more comfortable. To do this, take off their clothes (if the room is warm). When the child has recovered enough to swallow, give a drink and some paracetamol or ibuprofen. In the past, common advice thought to help cooling was to sponge with lukewarm water but this is no longer thought to help so is not recommended.
Stay with the child at night.