Harmless Fever Seizure

Q: “My son spiked a high fever recently and had a seizure. It was very frightening for us, but our doctor says this kind of seizure is harmless. Is that true?”

A: Febrile seizures are not uncommon, occurring in 2% - 5% of all children between 6 months and 5 years of age.

Usually occurring in the first few hours of a fever as it is rising, a seizure can last for up to 15 minutes, during which time a child is unresponsive, breathing is disturbed, and the skin may appear a little darker than usual. After the seizure, a child quickly returns to normal.

If your child has a seizure, place her on the floor away from hard or sharp objects, turn her head to the side, and do not put anything in her mouth (she cannot swallow her tongue). Do call your pediatrician, but know that this kind of seizure is usually outgrown and benign (harmless).

 

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