My child had a febrile fit – will it happen again?


Kerry: “A febrile convulsion is a fit that happens in children when their temperature changes rapidly. It's most common in children under three, but the age band can be anywhere between six months and five years. Seizures can look different, but often your child won't respond to you, their body may go stiff and their arms and legs may jerk or twitch.


Sometimes children can wet themselves. If your child is having a fit, the first thing to do is not to panic. Then the next thing to do is to put them in the recovery position and this means putting them on their side so that they don't choke if they vomit.


Don't put anything in your child's mouth during the seizure. Children who are having a fit can bite their tongue and putting medicine in their mouth can make them do this. It's really important to know how long a fit lasts. Most febrile convulsions will stop on their own, but if your child is still fitting at three minutes, call an ambulance.


If it's your child's first febrile seizure, it's really important that even if the fitting has stopped, you take them to be checked out at your nearest A&E. Even if your child has had a febrile convulsion before, it's really important that each time they have one you do go and tell your GP.


Your child may go on to have another convulsion within the same febrile illness that's produced the convulsion in the first place. The first time you see your child have a seizure can be absolutely terrifying, but most of them don't pose any long-term threats. Almost all children make a full recovery from febrile convulsions and don't go on to develop convulsions in the future.”