Does Your Child Get Fever Fits?

Updated on August 4, 2018
Mea Hera profile image

Mea is a final year medical student with a diploma in psychology and a certificate in Gene Technology.

Febrile seizures occur in 3% of children between the ages of six months and six years.
Febrile seizures occur in 3% of children between the ages of six months and six years. | Source

What Is a Febrile Seizure and Is It Harmful to Your Child?

A febrile seizure is a fit that is accompanied by a fever. However, a seizure due to an intracranial infection is not considered a febrile seizure.

These seizures occur in 3% of children between the ages of six months and six years. If a child has a first-degree relative with the disorder, they are more likely to have it too. Males also have a slightly higher incidence.

The onset of these fits is sudden and lasts for only a few minutes. Most children with this condition will have a fever around 102℉, but they can also occur with a milder fever. It is said that if a child gets a febrile seizure, there is a 30-40% chance that it will happen again. This is more likely if the child is very young (<15 months), if they get a seizure at mild temperatures, or if there is a family history. The pathology behind this disorder is not known.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fever
  • Shaking or jerking of arms and legs
  • Rolling back of eyes
  • Tightening of the jaw
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Confusion/tiredness following the seizures.

These fits are almost always harmless and DO NOT cause brain damage. Therefore, they do not decrease intelligence or brain function except in rare cases (also known as prolonged fits). However, children who have febrile seizures are at an increased risk of developing epilepsy. The chance of becoming epileptic before 25 years old is approximately 2.4% for simple febrile seizures—this is a slightly higher risk than the general population. If the child has a complex seizure, the risk increases to 4-12%.

Simple Febrile Seizures
Complex Febrile Seizures
Generalized (involves the whole body)
Focal (involves only part of the body); e.g. twitching of face, jerking movements of one limb
Fits last less than 15 minutes
Fits last more than 15 minutes
Only one episode during 24 hours
Two or more episodes during 24 hours
2.4% risk of developing epilepsy
4-12% risk of developing epilepsy

What Should You Do If Your Child Gets a Fever Fit?

The main thing you must do is remain calm. This is easier said than done, but remember that you cannot help your child by panicking. The aim should be to secure your child's airway and to avoid any injury.

  • Protect the child's surrounding by removing harmful objects.
  • Put a pillow under their head.
  • Wipe off anything coming out their mouth.
  • Perform a jaw thrust or chin lift if they are having breathing difficulties.
  • Do not put any material into their mouth.
  • Do not try to restrain the child.
  • Loosen tight clothing.
  • Remember the duration of the seizure episode.
  • If the child gets recurrent febrile seizures, your doctor will prescribe a medication that should be introduced rectally during the seizure.
  • Roll the child to their side (rolling to the left side is preferable).

When the seizure stops, try to lower the child's temperature by doing the following:

  • Remove excess clothes.
  • Use a sponge to apply lukewarm water. DO NOT use cold water as it will cause shivering and an increase in temperature.
  • Give medicine to lower fever (e.g. Acetaminophen)

There is no evidence to prove that fever-reducing medicine will, in fact, prevent febrile convulsions. But it should be done regardless to make the child more comfortable.

You must call 911 if

  • the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes.
  • it is your child's first seizure.
  • the child gets another seizure immediately after the initial one.
  • the child cannot breathe well and is blue.
  • the child gets injured.

Other Causes of Seizures in Children

Once your child is brought to the hospital, the doctor will assess them for any underlying pathology. Most of the time febrile seizures occur due to simple viral or bacterial infections. On certain occasions, it can be due to serious infections such as meningitis. Therefore, it's vital to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

Seizures can also occur due to blockage of blood vessels supplying the brain, metabolic disorders, and epilepsy.

Usually, physicians try to find the cause of the fever by conducting blood tests, urine tests, a lumbar puncture, (collection of cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and an X-ray. CT scans, MRI scans, and EEG tests are not indicated in simple febrile seizures, but they can be done if relevant.


  • Lissauer, T., Clayden, G., & Craft, A. (2012). Illustrated textbook of pediatrics. Edinburgh: Mosby.
  • Baumann, R.J. Pediatric Febrile Seizures. (2017 November 28); retrieved from:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)