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Fever fits

(12 Posts)
LovelyJubblyRodney Fri 29-Apr-16 15:34:12

Hi. Don't know if I'm posting this in the right section?

DS (4) was under the weather yesterday with a high temperature. I went to wake him from his nap at 4:00 and as he woke he started to have a fit. It lasted for around 30 seconds and didn't seem to affect him after. I gave him some juice and went to take his temperature when I noticed his leg was shaking violently. This happened 3 times over he space of around 45 minutes. Took him to hospital where his leg shook again. After a urine sample, chest X-ray and bloods it was decided he should stay in.

It was established quite quickly that the fit he experienced was due to his high temperature. I can't remember the medical term that they said it was. The doctor examined him this morning and said he has tonsillitis and that the fits were common in 4-6 year olds. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Is it really that common? And is he now likely to experience these fits again?

MyBreadIsEggy Sat 30-Apr-16 12:21:00

They are called Febrile Convulsions.
It happened to my Dd a few months back when she was 9 months old - was the scariest thing I've ever seen! I didn't have a clue what was going on and went into complete panic mode. She went grey and floppy and really twitchy with a vacant expression on her face. I called paramedics who took us to hospital and the dr there said these type of convulsions are caused because children under 5 are really rubbish at regulating their own body temperature - so when their temperature rises too quickly, their little bodies can't cope with it and sort of shut down. He said it is relatively common, and that if she gets a temperature higher than normal in future, it's best to control it with calpol at the earliest opportunity, which should prevent the convulsions happening again. DD had a pretty nasty UTI which is what caused her temperature to re so fast sad antibiotics sorted her out though smile

MooseAndSquirrel Sat 30-Apr-16 12:26:43

dd1 had these (only with high temps so not that often) between 2- 6yrs old.
She's grown out of them totally now. I know a few kids that have suffered with FC but none of them continued after 6. So yes they are common & they will grow out of it. Hth as they are scary when it happens (kids were never bothered mind!)

Buttwing Sat 30-Apr-16 12:43:56

Yep febrile convulsions. Dd2 has had them since she was 15 months old. They are so frightening. She's five now and they are much less regular, she used to have them everytime he temp was raised even a little bit. As pp said most kids grow out of them by the time they are six and some kids just have them once.

mrsm22 Sat 30-Apr-16 20:50:59

Hi there

I just read your post and simply had to respond as I have just a few weeks ago had the exact same frightening situation which you have described. My DS woke up one morning not very well, he felt hot and wouldn't eat anything. He just wanted to sleep all day and cuddle (he is just under two years old). At about 4pm, all of a sudden he had a febrile secure (something I have never ever seen before). I didn't know what was happening, I was terrified and rang an ambulance immediately. It lasted about the same time they you said and afterwards he went floppy in my arms. I thought he was going to die. The ambulance took us to hospital, hours later we found out that he had bacterial tonsillitis! We were given penicillin and told that the seizure was due to a high temperature. It has left me terrified that it could happen again.

Graceymac Wed 04-May-16 06:43:32

My Dd has had about 20 of these since age 14 months and is now 4. She doesn't get them with every high temp and sometimes the seizure is the first sign of a temp. The scary thing for me is that they often happen in the night and she can vomit with them so I worry about aspiration as she is lying on her back when asleep. Some of her seizures have been prolonged so I have Buccal Midazolam to stop them if over 5 mins which helps to make me feel we have some control but she has had to be admitted a few times as she tends to have clusters which occur even after I have given midazolam although I am told her case is more unusual.

Toffeelatteplease Wed 04-May-16 06:52:35

Yes. We had them too. Alternated Ibruprofen and paracetamol whenever he had a temperature. And he slept in my bed at the whiff of illness. We were given the option of midazolam after a particularly long full body one. But didn't have such a bad one again. They did however last way beyond the 5-6 years, DS has lots of other issues though

bruffin Wed 04-May-16 08:19:23

My family has a something called GEFS+ going back generations which means that some of the children have febrile convulsions until puberty rather than stopping at 5 and have a lot more than normal. DS had over 20 until 13.5 and DD had 4 in between the ages of 3 and 4. This is very rare and many gps etc have not heard of it.

The stats from what i remember is
1 in 3 child will have a febrile convulsion
1 in 3 of those will go onto have a second one
1 in 20 of those will have a third.

there was a quote in toddler taming by dr christopher green which got me through a bad two weeks when they maganged to have 4 between them.

"The odd fever fit rarely harms the child, just it's parents nerves"

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us Thu 05-May-16 08:26:45

My son has had two febrile seizures, the second of which was prolonged (about 20 minutes, then he was given anticonvulsants which ended it within seconds). The second time the seizure was the first hint of illness. It seems to be only certain bugs that he's sensitive to as he's had dozens of illnesses, some with very high temperatures, and has 'only' had 2 seizures. Sadly we have no idea what those bugs might be! The Drs think he'll grow out of them, and they are surprisingly common - about 1 in 20 children has at least one. He also has Midazolam in case he has another long one, and it's reassuring to know it's there, but it's still a bit stressful.

It's absolutely terrifying and left us nervous wrecks, but I think all the research seems to suggest that it does no lasting harm. Even long ones will probably do no lasting damage. The hardest part sometimes is resisting the urge to over-treat minor illnesses with calpol etc as there is no evidence that it prevents seizures and his body needs to be able to fight the illness off.

bruffin Thu 05-May-16 08:49:41


DS seemed to get them when he had ear infections, tonsillitis and flu. The last one was pneumonia age 13.5, and coincidentally both my sister and my mum last ones were both chest infections age 10.
Every time with both ds and dd they febrile convulsion was the first time sign they were ill, although ds had sometimes more than one in that illness when the calpol wore off, which is why we were told to alternate calpol and ibroprufen.
Is Midazolam a new drug, because were never offered that. Only rectal diazepam if the fit went over 5 minutes, which thankfully never did.
The last one was 2009 in school, so i dont know fully what happened but i know he started fitting again when the ambulance arrived and they gave him diazepam by drip.

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us Thu 05-May-16 09:38:35

The Calpol advice does confuse me a little - the nurses are always obsessing over temperature and insisting on trying to get it down, then the Consultant comes around and says that the NICE guidelines are appropriate and fever is nothing to be scared of. We tend to give as little as we can get away with to allow him to fight off the illness more quickly, but thankfully (so far at least) have only had single seizures to worry about. I can see if your little ones are having multiple seizures why it might be appropriate to be more aggressive in controlling temperature though.

Midazolam is in the same class as diazepam as I understand it, but it can be given buccally or intranasally rather than rectally. The Consultant who prescribed it told us that people were reluctant to use the rectal diazepam, so the decision was taken about 10 years ago to switch to Midazolam even though it's not licensed in children. The advice about giving it five minutes first is the same. I don't know how the effectiveness compares, but he said he's never known it to not work. We haven't had to find out (yet) thankfully!

Graceymac Thu 05-May-16 22:46:51

Midazolam does work as well as diazepam, I have used both on my dd. Midazolam is better I feel as easier to administer as you don't have to remove clothes. While as a nurse I felt comfort giving rectal diazepam I worried that my childminder might hurt my dd in the event that she had to give it as the nozzle is quite long.
Midazolam has always worked but my dd recently went on to have a further seizure 25 mins later without regaining consciousness in between the two. That is when I start to panic. I took her to A&E on that occasion as she had three in close succession and the meds weren't helping. She has since been prescribed Frisium which is another benzodiazepine to take once daily for three days during temperatures as it has been shown to reduces frequentcy of febrile seizures, it does make her very drowsy though but as she has clusters of prolonged seizures each time it was felt to be the correct treatment by her neurologist.

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