Febrile seizures are convulsions that develop due to a sudden change in body temperature or fever. Also known as focal febrile seizures, these seizures are commonly observed in children between 6 months to 5 years, with 12 months to 18 months being the most common age range.
Febrile seizures are divided into two types, simple and complex febrile seizures. Simple febrile seizures are more common in children, last between 2 minutes to 15 minutes, and do not recur within 24 hours. Complex febrile seizures last between 15 minutes to 30 minutes and occur more than once within 24 hours.
One arm, leg, or one side of the body
Currently, the exact cause behind febrile seizures is yet to be understood. Research studies suggest that they could develop due to the following factors.
The symptoms of febrile seizures vary based on the two types, simple or complex febrile seizures.
The symptoms of simple febrile seizures are:
The symptoms of complex febrile seizures are:
While febrile seizures do not cause permanent brain damage, one must take the necessary steps to treat febrile seizures. The doctor will prescribe:
The following factors may increase the risk of developing febrile seizures.
Febrile seizures do not cause any long-lasting complications relating to the child’s intelligence, social development, or brain damage. However, recurrent episodes of complex febrile seizures may increase the risk of developing epilepsy after the age of 7 years.
Currently, there is no way to completely prevent a febrile seizure as researchers believe that genetics play a role in the development of febrile seizures.
One can take the following steps when their child is having a febrile seizure.
If it lasts for more than five minutes and your child is not breathing, immediately take the child to the nearby hospital
Focal febrile seizure
The first step to diagnosing febrile seizures is to ask about the medical history of the child and conduct a physical exam to get a better understanding of the symptoms. Once this is completed, and all other factors of epilepsy are ruled out, the doctor may recommend running the following tests for a clearer diagnosis.
Although it can be frightening to see your child having a febrile seizure, fortunately, it does not have a harmful impact on the child’s health. After 6 years of age, the child outgrows febrile seizures and continues to go through normal growth and development. One-third of the children have one recurrent episode of febrile seizure with less than 10% of the children having less than 3 recurrences.
If febrile seizures are left untreated, they may evolve into generalized seizures or increase the risk of developing epilepsy.
The development of febrile seizures may be due to genetic factors. Research also indicates that changes in the firing of neurons related to temperature regulation and production of cytokine due to fever or inflammation may result in the development of febrile seizures.
If you are facing any similar signs or symptoms please contact the Nanavati Max team to schedule an appointment at : +91 22 6836 0000