Febrile Convulsion:


Febrile convulsions or seizures are a relatively common childhood condition and although the cause is unknown they can occur when a child has a temperature 38 degrees C or above. This rise in temperature is partly due to the underdevelopment of the part of their brain, which is responsible for temperature regulation. This rise in temperature can result can from infections of the throat, ear, and other infectious disease or overheating.


Watching a child or baby having a febrile convulsion can be extremely frightening for the parents. During this convulsion the child may stop breathing and lips may become blue. Most babies have what is called a tonic clonic seizure.


The cells in the brain communicate by using electrical impulses. A seizure occurs when these are disrupted causing the brain and body to behave abnormally.




  • The most common.
  • Is a tonic clonic seizure.
  • Last no longer than 15 minutes.
  • Does not reoccur over the following 24hrs.



  • Only has symptoms in one part of body.
  • Last longer than 15 minutes.
  • Child does not fully recover from seizure within 1hr.
  • Has more seizures within 24hrs.


Signs & Symptoms:

  • Obvious signs of fever, hot flushed skin.
  • Violent muscle twitching, clench fists, arched back.
  • Twitching of the face, squinting, fixed or upturned eyes.
  • Breath-holding, drooling around the mouth.
  • Loss or partial loss of consciousness.



  • Position soft padding/pillows around the child.
  • Remove clothing, bedding.
  • Ensure a good supply of cool, fresh air (be careful not to overcool the child).
  • Sponge child's skin with tepid water to help cooling.
  • If fits persist dial 999.



  • Never place anything in child's mouth.
  • Do not try and restrain the child.
  • Be careful not to overcool.


We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.


You might also be interested in our blog. In this post Linda Hart gives us a guide to seizures and related first aid.


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