What is Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit ?

Febrile seizure or fever fit is a health disorder found in children due to sudden change in body temperature, often because of an infection. Febrile seizure or fever fit is a response of child’s brain to fever; this response usually comes on the very first day of fever. Luckily, this does not have any adverse affect on the body and it also does not indicate any ongoing problem. However, one should immediately seek doctor’s help for evaluating the severity of febrile seizure or fever fit.

Usually in majority of cases febrile seizure or fever fit in children cures on its own. In case the fever lasts for more than 10 minutes or if the fever come repeatedly then immediate medical help is required.

What is Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit ?

Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit In Adults

It is very rare to find febrile seizure or fever fit in adults and some of the common causes for the same include the following:

  • Infection in brain may cause febrile seizure or fever fit in adults.
  • Sudden rise in level of glucose or sodium in blood.
  • Brain tumor.
  • Injury caused from electric shock.
  • Brain problem caused at the time of birth.
  • Epilepsy.

Causes of Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Some of the major causes leading to febrile seizure or fever fit include:

  • Infection can cause febrile seizure or fever fit. Usually people have a misconception that bacterial infection triggers febrile, but actually it is the viral infection lead to fever which further trigger febrile seizure or fever fit. Viral infections like roseola, cough, cold and flu are the most common ones. Other than this some less common infections includes kidney infection and pneumonia.
  • It is quite astonishing to know that the risk of having febrile seizure or fever fit increases considerably after some childhood immunizations like tetanus, measles, diphtheria, mumps vaccinations and more. It is very likely that a child is prone to develop slight fever after every vaccination. Hence, it is the fever and not the vaccination that causes febrile seizure or fever fit.

What Temperature Causes Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit?

Temperature above 100.4 F (38 C) causes febrile seizure or fever fit, although seizures can be frightening but it last for few minutes and does not call for any medication for treatment. Further, it also does not trigger any other health disorder. Usually, febrile seizure or fever fit occur when the fever is very mild.

Can Pneumonia Cause a Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit?

Any sort of illness that leads to high temperature can cause febrile seizure or fever fit. Pneumonia does cause seizures, but it is not very common cause for the same. Some of the common causes of febrile seizure or fever fit include cough, flu, cold and viral infection.

Is Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit Dangerous?

Occurrence of febrile seizure or fever fit can be frightening, but it does not have any serious effect on the body. It happens for few minutes and then disappears on its own without any medication. Only in some rare situation when seizures recourse many times within 24 hours or when it last for more than 30 minutes then it may be dangerous.

Symptoms of Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Symptoms reflected in children suffering from febrile seizure or fever fit are as follows:

  • Loss or semi-conscious state is a symptom of febrile seizure or fever fit.
  • Jerk in legs or arms.
  • Body temperature above 100.4 F.
  • Vomiting.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Constant sleepiness.

Classification of Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Febrile seizure or fever fit can be broadly classified in to two categories; they are simple and complex febrile seizure or fever fit.

  • Simple febrile seizure or fever fit is the more common form of febrile seizures compared to the complex one. It lasts up to maximum 15 minutes and does not recur within 24 hours. Further, it is not limited to any particular part of the body, instead; it is very much generalized.
  • Complex febrile seizure or fever fit lasts for more than 15 minutes and it occurs more than once in 24 hours. Also, it is limited to a particular body part.

Tests to Diagnose Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Identification of problem at an early stage is helpful in treating the problem. In order to identify the cause of infection doctors recommend following test:

  • Urine test.
  • Blood test.
  • Spinal tap (to know whether the nervous system of the child is infected or not).

In case doctor suspect complex febrile seizure or fever fit then EEG i.e., electroencephalogram is recommended, which measures brain activity. In some rare condition seizure occurs only in one side of the body, in this situation doctor recommend MRI.

Treatment for Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Usually, febrile seizure or fever fit cure on its own in few minutes. However, if the febrile seizure or fever fit lasts for more than 10 minutes and if repeated occurrence of seizures is seen, then immediate medical attention is very much required. This is so because when seizure lasts for more than 15 minutes, then doctors prescribe medication to stop seizure. If the condition persists for long then doctors may recommend hospitalization for further treatment and observation. However, this happens in an extreme condition which is very rare.

Home Remedies for Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

When a kid is diagnosed with febrile seizure or fever fit then parents should do the following:

  • Stay close to your child and try to make them feel comfortable.
  • Remove all sharp or pointed things away from your child.
  • Make your child wear loose cloths is a good home remedy.
  • Do not restrain their movement.

Recovery Period/ Healing Time for Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Febrile seizure or fever fit last for few minutes, in majority of cases it last for just 15 minutes but in some serious cases the problem may last up to 30 minutes. For the latter case proper medical assistance is required and it may take few days to recover from the disease completely.

Prevention of Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Some of the preventive measures against febrile seizure or fever fit are as follows:

  • In the initial stage of fever, parents can give their kids acetaminophen or ibuprofen, it will not prevent seizures but it will definitely make your child slightly comfortable.
  • Parents should be very careful while giving aspirin to their children. Although aspirin is medically approved for children and teenagers, but there are some medical conditions where intake of aspirin can be dangerous. For instance children suffering chickenpox or flu-like should strictly avoid aspirin. This is because it can cause life threatening reaction in the body.
  • In some rare situations doctors prescribe anticonvulsant medications for preventing febrile seizure or fever fit. However, these medications can have serious side effects. Some of the medicines that are prescribed to children who are highly prone to seizure are lorazepam intensol, rectal diazepam and oral diazepam.

Risk Factors for Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Two major factors that increase the risk of having febrile seizure or fever fit are:

  • Family history is a risk factor for febrile seizure or fever fit. Few kids inherit seizures from their parents. Experts have revealed the fact that there are various genes that are susceptible to cause febrile seizures.
  • Febrile seizure or fever fit usually occur in children of age group 6 months to 5 years. It is very rare that kids of age less than six months to suffer from this disease.

Complications of Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Usually febrile seizure or fever fit do not produce any long lasting effect. Initial seizures do not cause any sort of damage to brain or lead to learning disabilities and it also does not mean that the child had serious health disorder. Some of the people have a misconception that the febrile seizures lead to epilepsy (it occurs when brain send abnormal or interrupted signals to body).

Recurrence of febrile seizures is the basic complication associated with febrile seizure or fever fit. The possibility of recurrence increases under the following conditions:

  • When an immediate family member has suffered from this problem.
  • When seizures occurs from slow fever.
  • When period between fever start time and seizures is very less.
  • When the child suffered first seizures at just 15 months of age.

Complex Febrile Seizure

Complex febrile seizure or fever fit is a situation, in which seizure last for more than 15 minutes or when multiple recurrence happen in 24 hours. The name itself is self explanatory that it is a complex and serious form of febrile seizure or fever fit.

Prognosis/ Outlook for Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

The prognosis or outlook for febrile seizure or fever fit is excellent. Doctors say that children who are detected with febrile seizure or fever fit have almost 50% of chances of developing the same again in the next two years. Simple febrile seizure or fever fit does not recur frequently and it also does not promote leprosy in the adults.

Lifestyle Changes for Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

One should try to make their child feel more comfortable, so that he/she can tackle with the uneasiness caused due to febrile seizure or fever fit. Further, lifestyle changes include giving the child healthy food and indulging them in more active lifestyle.

Coping with Febrile Seizure or Fever Fit

Recovering from febrile seizure or fever fit is easy, hence children suffering from this problem should take proper rest. Also, the parents need to follow all the suggestions given by doctors for best coping. Usually, the parents get panic when their small kid is subjected with febrile seizure. Instead of getting panic they should understand the problem faced by their kids and should try their best to make them feel more comfortable.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 11, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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