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Febrile Convulsions in Children


Febrile convulsions are seizures that can occur in children with high temperatures. They are typically seen in children between 6 months and 6 years old.


  • Febrile Illnesses: Febrile convulsions often accompany illnesses causing high temperatures, such as flu or ear infections.
  • Vaccinations: Convulsions may occur 8 - 14 days after certain vaccinations, though they are more commonly associated with the measles virus itself.


  • Appearance: Hot and flushed skin, dazed or confused, may lose consciousness.
  • Muscle Symptoms: Muscle tightening, twitching, shaking, arching of the back, clenched fists.
  • Other Symptoms: May stop breathing briefly, loss of bladder or bowel control, sweating.

Patient Care

  • Safety Measures: Place the child on a flat surface, clear the area around them, and pad with towels to prevent injury.
  • Loosen Clothing: Ensure clothing is loose, especially around the neck.
  • Do Not Restrict: Do not restrain the child's movements.
  • Protect Airways: Do not insert anything into the mouth; clear vomit or food from the vicinity.
  • Cooling: Cool the room, loosen clothing, but do not sponge or bathe the child.
  • Recovery Position: Place the child in the recovery position.
  • Medication: Administer paracetamol as directed to lower temperature; avoid ibuprofen for children under six months.
  • Monitor Vital Signs: Keep track of the child's vital signs and report any concerns to a doctor.

Emergency Action

Activate emergency medical services (EMS) if:

  • The child's condition does not improve after the convulsion.
  • The seizure is focused on one part of the body.
  • Breathing difficulties occur or the seizure lasts more than 15 minutes.
  • Another seizure follows shortly after the first.