Febrile Seizures: What parents need to know
What are febrile seizures?
Febrile seizures are a common childhood illness. They are also known as "fever seizures." Seizures are due to abnormal brain electrical activity that can cause passing out, jerking, or strange behavior. The word "febrile" refers to the fever that is present at the time of the seizure. These types of seizures occur in about 3% of children younger than 5 years of age. Febrile seizures have a genetic component, so they tend to run in families. Most febrile seizures last less than five minutes and stop on their own. Children may be sleepy or confused after a seizure.
What does it mean if my child has a febrile seizure?
Having one febrile seizure increases the chance a child will have another in the future. This happens to 1 in 3 children. The good news is simple febrile seizures are not known to cause damage to the developing brain.
What should I do if my child is having a seizure?
If your feel your child is having a seizure, place your child on his or her side. Avoid putting anything in the mouth and do not try to stop your child's jerking movements. Keep track of the length of the seizure and call 911 for any seizure activity lasting more than five minutes. Seek urgent care from your provider to rule out a more serious infection or other underlying problem.
By Laurie Imsand, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children
Dr. Laurie Imsand was born and raised in the Huntsville area. After graduation from Randolph School she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. Upon graduation, Dr. Imsand attended the University of South Alabama Medical School. She then returned to Memphis to train at LeBonheur Children's Hospital and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for residency. She then stayed and worked as a Hospitalist and in the General Pediatrics Clinic as an Assistant Professor for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. She returned to the Huntsville area in 2011 as has been working as a Pediatric Hospitalist for Huntsville Hospital Women & Children since that time. She is board certified in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Hospital Medicine. She is married with two sons and a daughter and enjoys spending time traveling with her family and playing with the family dog.