Advice intended for parents/ carers taking
their child home after seeing a doctor
If your child has any of the following:
Please phone 999
or go to the nearest
Please ring your GP surgery or contact NHS 111 - dial 111 or for children aged 5 years and above visit 111.nhs.uk
Using the advice below and overleaf you can provide the care your child needs at home
Febrile convulsions occurs in some children with a high temperature (fever). Although it can be extremely scary the first time you see your child have one, most of the time they are not serious. Most occur with common illnesses such as ear infections, colds and other viral infections. Full recovery with no permanent damage is usual. The main treatment is aimed at the illness that caused the fever.
● They occur in about 1 in 20 children, most commonly between 6 months and 6 years of age
● They often occur on the first day of an illness associated with fever. There appears to be no connection between how high a child’s fever is and whether they have a fit. They can occur even with mild fevers
● Most children will not have another fit during the same illness
● 1 in 3 children who have a febrile convulsion may go on to have further febrile convulsions in the future. This is more likely if other members of the family have had febrile convulsions.
● Febrile convulsions are not epilepsy. Regular treatment for prevention of future fits is usually not necessary. There is a small risk of your child developing epilepsy in the future and many parents worry about this, however, most children who have childhood simple febrile convulsions grow out of them and do not develop epilepsy
● If your child has had a previous febrile convulsion, has a clear cause for their fever, their seizure stops quickly and they are back to normal soon after, they may be cared for at home. The first time your child has a fit, you should go to your local Emergency Department or call an ambulance
● Once they have been examined, if a cause is found and your child is well, it may be appropriate that they are discharged to continue recovering at home
When the fit stops, you can give them Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. However, this might not stop them having another one. Always follow instructions on the container and do not exceed daily maximum doses
For more information on fever please see our page here.
In most cases, children with simple febrile convulsions appear dazed and their eyes may roll back
Their bodies may go stiff, their arms and legs may twitch or shake and they will become unresponsive for a few seconds. It is unusual for the febrile convulsion to last for more than 5 minutes
Your child may be sleepy for a few minutes afterwards
This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.