Many children aged 6 months to 5 years have seizures or fits at the time of fever due to pharyngitis or viral fevers. These seizures last for only a few seconds or minutes and the child immediately regains full consciousness and then apart from fever he remains completely fine. This condition is termed as febrile seizure. These children are otherwise developmentally normal that is they start sitting, standing, walking and speaking at right ages. These children can develop recurrences of seizures every time the child develops fever till he completes 5 years of age. This condition resolves once the child completes five years of age so that after this age the child does not develop febrile seizures. These seizures are usually generalized that is there is shaking of both arms and legs with uprolling of eyeballs so that the “eye becomes white”, last for only a few seconds or minutes and there is usually a single episode of seizure in a day but at times 2-3 episodes may also occur in a day.
Patients with acute meningoencephalitis(that is acute infection of brain) also present with fever and
seizure but this is a serious condition which may be fatal so this condition needs to be ruled out
before labeling a child as a case of febrile seizure.
Children with febrile seizures are sometimes given anti-epileptic drugs which have to be taken twice daily for at least two years. But such a practice is wrong and these children require anti-epileptic drugs only at the time of fever as they do not develop seizures without fever. Oral anti-pyretic (paracetamol or ibuprofen) are given along with benzodiazepines(clobazam or clonazepam) for 2-3 days at the time of fever. Midazolam nasal spray is prescribed to terminate a prolonged seizure at home.