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A febrile seizure, also known as a fever fit or febrile convulsion, is a seizure associated with a high body temperature but without any serious underlying health issue. They most commonly occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Most seizures are less than five minutes in duration and the child is completely back to normal within sixty minutes of the event.
Symptoms: During generalized febrile seizures, the body will become stiff and the arms and legs will begin twitching. The child loses consciousness, although their eyes remain open. Breathing can be irregular. They may also vomit or have increased secretions (foam at the mouth). The seizure normally lasts for less than five minutes. The child's temperature is usually greater than 38 C (100.4 F).
Diagnosis: The diagnosis is arrived at by eliminating more serious causes of seizure and fever: in particular, meningitis and encephalitis. However, in locales in which children are immunized for pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae, the prevalence of bacterial meningitis is low. Blood test, imaging of the brain and an electroencephalogram are generally not needed.