Febrile convulsions or fits can happen when a child's brain becomes overheated e.g. in a fever, and can affect approximately 1 child in 25. It can be very distressing for the parents to observe as the child's eyes may roll upwards and jerky limb movements can last for several minutes after which the child can become limp and drowsy.
If it is the first time this happens it is advisable to take the child to hospital to be checked to exclude other conditions such as meningitis. Some children will have several fits before they grow out of them, this normally does not cause any long lasting ill effects but may increase the chances of epilepsy in later life in those susceptible.
Treatment is always to try and initially reduce the child's body temperature by removing clothing, opening windows or placing in a tepid (Not ice cold) bath. Paracetamol used as directed can help to reduce a fever.
Any fit that follows a head injury, lasts for more than 10 minutes is associated with a headache and a dislike of bright lights, or where there is no raised temperature should be taken to hospital immediately to exclude other causes.
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