A febrile seizure is a febrile convulsion that occurs in children age from usually six months of age to six years of age in the setting of fevers, mostly high fevers. The exact cause of febrile seizure is still unknown. However, it is thought to be a combination of immature brain in children as well as the nature of the febrile illness as well as the rapid rise in the body temperature. Children, especially who have a history, a family history of febrile seizures, are at higher risk of developing febrile seizures in their childhood. Febrile seizures are relatively common and they are thought to happen in about 5% of the pediatric population. So for kids, children who had a history of febrile seizure and you know for parents for future febrile illness, if the kids are having fevers or appeared uncomfortable definitely please treat with over-the-counter fever medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, it is not necessary to treat any kind of any signs of illness such as if your kid just have a few coughs it’s not really necessary to treat them with fever medication automatically. There have not been studies showing that prompt fever reducing medication leads to less febrile seizures.
Children do outgrow their febrile seizures. We think usually kids start to outgrow their febrile seizure by age of three. By the age of six, almost all children with febrile seizures should outgrow their seizure tendency in the setting of a fever.
Not all children with febrile seizures need to see a child neurologist. Generally speaking, children with simple febrile seizure, which is defined as seizures involving both sides of the body, seizures lasting shorter than 15 minutes, one-five, or seizures only occurring once within 24 hours in the setting of a fever. For those children who have history of a simple febrile seizure, but most of the time they definitely should see their pediatrician and often times they do not need to seek care from a child neurologist. However, for children with very frequent febrile seizure or children with a history of complex febrile seizures or children with unprovoked seizures, basically being seizures not triggered by a fever or febrile illness, for those population I think it is reasonable for them to see a child neurologist.