Pediatrics

Febrile Fits in Children: Understanding, Causes, and Management:

What are Febrile Fits?

Febrile fits are convulsions that occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, usually in response to a high fever. These fits are typically brief, lasting for a few seconds to a few minutes. Febrile fits are generally harmless and do not cause long-term neurological damage. However, witnessing a seizure can be distressing for parents.

Causes of Febrile Fits:

The exact cause is related to the rapid rise in body temperature during a fever. Fever is often triggered by common childhood illnesses such as respiratory infections, ear infections, or viral illnesses.

Types of Febrile Fits:

There are two main types of febrile fits:

  • Simple Febrile fits: Simple febrile fits are the most common type and typically involve a generalised seizure without focal symptoms. The child may experience stiffening or shaking of the limbs, loss of consciousness, and changes in breathing or colour.
  • Complex Febrile fits: Complex febrile fits are less common and may involve focal symptoms or last longer than 15 minutes. These fits may have a higher risk of recurrence and are associated with a family history of febrile fits or neurological disorders.

Managing Febrile Fits:

When a febrile seizure occurs, it is important for parents to remain calm and take the following steps:

  • Make the child lie down in left lateral position. Place a metal spoon or ladle handle in the mouth to prevent biting of tongue.
  • Ensure Safety: Move the child away from any potential hazards or sharp objects, and place them on a soft surface to prevent injury.
  • Monitor the duration of Seizure and any other symptoms like difficulty breathing , blue colour in the tips of fingers and seek immediate medical attention.
  • Comfort the Child: After the seizure, provide a calm and comforting environment for the child. Remove excess clothing to help cool down the body.
  • Consult a Paediatrician.

Preventing Febrile Fits:

Although febrile fits cannot be completely prevented, the following measures may help reduce the risk and manage fever in children:

  • Fever Management: Administer appropriate doses of fever-reducing medication as recommended by your paediatrician. Ensure that the child stays well-hydrated.
  • Temperature Regulation: Dress the child in lightweight clothing, and keep the room comfortably cool.
  • Identify Underlying Illness: Treat the underlying illness causing the fever promptly and follow your paediatrician’s guidance for managing the specific condition.

It is important to consult a paediatrician for guidance and to ensure the underlying illness causing the fever is properly addressed. With proper care and support, children experiencing febrile fits can recover well and continue to grow and thrive.