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6 must-know facts for febrile fits

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Febrile fits can be scary and distressing, especially when it happens to your baby. You feel very helpless and frightened. Knowing what to expect when a fit happens, it alleviates your fear and anxiety.

#1 Febrile fits are common

Fits usually occur in a young child from 6 months to 6 years old, although they are most common in the toddler’s group of 12 - 18 months. A strong family history of fits also increases the chance.

#2 Fever pattern is high

The child usually develops a fever that rises rapidly above 38°C. A febrile fit episode lasts for only a few minutes.

#3 Febrile fits will stop spontaneously

No treatment is usually needed and fits will abate on its own. Rest assured that these fits do not lead to brain damage or delay in the child’s development.

#4 Stay calm and safe

Do not panic but place your child on one side in a safe spot. Remove any nearby objects or dangers. Keep his/her head and neck straight and watch for breathing difficulties. Wipe away any secretions outside the mouth to prevent choking.

#5 What you should not do in febrile fits

Do not try to hold or restrain your child. Do not attempt to put objects such as a spoon or your finger into your child’s mouth. Do not try to feed your child medicine or water orally to prevent choking.

#6 When to see a doctor

It is important to seek medical attention if this is the first time that your child has a febrile fit, or if the fit is prolonged and lasts more than five minutes. Should your child sustained any injury or breathing difficulty, or become drowsy or less responsive, call the ambulance or bring your child to see a doctor urgently.

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