Seizure Specialist in Hyderabad | Dr. Habib Pathan
Are febrile seizures harmful to my child? You might have asked this question several times to a seizure specialist in Hyderabad. Let us try to get some insights here.
A Febrile seizure is a convulsion that occurs in a child due to a sudden rise in body temperature mostly from an infection. These are common in young children without any history of seizures or neurological problems. A normal child with normal development can get a febrile seizure. It can be a frightening experience for parents, but febrile seizures are usually harmless. However, they may sometimes indicate a serious infection.
The exact cause of a febrile seizure is unknown, but high temperature can trigger it. Bacterial or viral infections can cause febrile seizures which are accompanied by high fever.
Who gets Febrile seizures?
They occur in children as young as six months to 5 years of age but are common in 12 to 18 months old infants.
Children who are at risk include those with family history and personal history of seizures. Which means, one out of three kids, who have had seizure will have another – within a duration of one or two years. Infants who have had a seizure when they were 15 months old or more are at risk of getting another one. By the age of 5 years or more, most of the children outgrow febrile seizures.
Seizure disorder (Epilepsy) is different from febrile seizure. In children who have experienced a febrile seizure, the risk of developing epilepsy is marginally or slightly higher. However, children who get recurrent febrile seizures should get evaluated by a paediatric neurologist.
Febrile seizures are classified as
Simple Febrile seizures: This type of seizures can last from a few seconds to 15 minutes. These are not specific to one part of the body. They do not recur within 24 hours.
Complex febrile seizures: This type of seizure may last longer than simple febrile seizures. The duration can range from more than 15 minutes. These are confined to one side of the child’s body. They can occur more than once within 24 hours or within a day’s time.
The child may have a high fever accompanied by flu, cold or an infection (ear infection). In some cases, the child may not have a fever, but it develops after seizures set in – a few hours later.
During a simple febrile seizure, the child having it shake (both the arms and legs shake uncontrollably), convulse, twitch all over, moan, roll the eyes, vomit or urinate and become unconscious (pass out).
Diagnosis of Febrile Seizures?
Pediatric neurologists, first of all, try to rule out any underlying more serious health issue (meningitis – it is a serious bacterial infection of the brain and meninges). Meningitis can cause both fever and seizures – which can look just like febrile seizures. It is a more serious infection in children.
Therefore, the doctor may order a cerebrospinal fluid test if they suspect meningitis and involvement of bacterial infection.
If the affected child has developed dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhoea then the seizure could be due to dehydration.
To know the exact cause of fever, the doctor may also order urine and blood tests as well. The doctor makes the diagnosis based on the signs and symptoms, tests results and other associated conditions of the child.
Dr. Habib Pathan
Seizure specialist in Hyderabad