The temperature can rise quickly in babies and small children. If this happens, your child may have a seizure. Such an incident is called a febrile seizure (fever convulsion). Generally, these febrile seizures occur only in small children, usually in the age range of about 3 months to 5 years. The duration of a febrile seizure is usually no longer than 10 minutes. It is often thought that there is a relationship between febrile seizures and epilepsy, but this is not the case.
As mentioned, the temperature of a child can rise very quickly. It may even be that you had not noticed that your child had a fever. A febrile seizure usually arises in the initial phase of a disease.
Suddenly there are (violent) motions in the arms and legs of your child. Your child can sometimes stop breathing, or breathe irregularly. This can last for a few minutes, sometimes as long as 10 minutes. When the febrile seizure is over, your child may be drowsy and / or confused for a while. Your child may also be restless and may start to cry.
The diagnosis is made on the basis of a number of points:
The doctor will be happy to examine your child to find out what causes the fever. Usually an innocent infectious disease is the culprit and no further research is needed.
When is extra testing performed?
It is very important to ensure that a child does not injure himself during a febrile seizure. Make sure that a child can not bump into anything. In order to ensure that a child does not start choking, it is best to lie on their side.
Parents often call a doctor when they see that their child has a febrile seizure. Usually the attack is over by the time the doctor has arrived. In rare cases, the febrile seizure is not over yet and the doctor gives the child medication rectally. This is liquid Diazepam and works quickly.
In most cases, a febrile seizure occurs only once. There is about a 30% chance that the febrile seizure will repeat during this or a subsequent period of fever. Giving paracetamol has no effect on the occurrence of a febrile seizure.
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