Fever cramps in children

Summary

Generally

Some children who have a  fever get fever  cramps. It often looks dramatic but is usually not harmful. Usually, children happen between six months and five years of age. Most children who get a fever only get it once, but some children can get it on several occasions. It is unusual for children with fever cramps to suffer in the future.

Cramps that appear this way are usually due to the fact that the fever causes a temporary direction in the brain and is not a sign of a serious condition. 

Not more than one child of twenty gets fever cramps one or more times in toddler age. Of those who have had fever cramps at one time, a third risk getting it again. 

symptoms

The child usually loses consciousness. The whole body becomes stiff, the head is often bent back, the skin becomes pale and maybe even a little blue. Often the child has twitches. The attack usually goes on for one or a few minutes, and afterwards the child becomes weak but usually recovers quickly.

Fever convulsions usually occur at the beginning of an infection, such as a common cold . Usually the fever is above 39 degrees. 

Treatment

Sometimes children who have had fever cramps may be admitted to the hospital for observation, especially if this is the first time they have occurred. The child is given time to recover and in addition the parents have the opportunity to calmly get information about what has happened.

It is not possible to prevent or treat fever cramps by giving the child fever-reducing medicines. Neither cooling, for example by bathing the child with cool damp cloths, is also effective in preventing seizures. On the other hand, on the doctor’s prescription, you can give anticonvulsant medication for long-term fever cramps, that is, cramps that last more than a few minutes. 

Although it is not possible to prevent the cramps, a lowered body temperature can make the child generally feel better.

When and where should I seek care?

You do not need to seek care if the child has had a similar cramp at an earlier time and you know what to do. 

If it’s in a hurry

Seek medical care directly at a health center or on-call reception the first time a child has a seizure in connection with a fever. You can contact many receptions by logging in . If it is closed at the health center or on-call reception, seek care at an emergency room.

  • The child receives seizures several times during the same day,
  • The child has ongoing muscle twitching or is rigid in the body.
  • The child does not regain consciousness within two minutes.

What are fever cramps in children?

Some children who get a fever can have fever cramps and then lose consciousness, become stiff and get twitches while the skin fades. It often looks dramatic but is usually not harmful. Usually, children happen between six months and five years of age, but in rare cases can occur in both higher and lower ages.

Although the seizure lasts only a minute, it can feel like an eternity. It is usually a scary experience for parents, especially the first time you see it.

Most children who get a fever only get it once, but some children can get it on several occasions. It is uncommon for children who have a fever to suffer from it in the future.

What is the cause of fever cramps?

Cramps that appear this way are usually due to the fact that the fever causes a temporary direction in the brain and is usually not a sign of a serious condition. The fact that just young children get the seizures depends on a certain immaturity of the brain.

To some extent hereditary

Not more than one child of twenty gets fever cramps one or more times in toddler age. Of those who have had fever cramps at one time, a third risk getting it again. The risk of fever cramps is higher if one of the parents or a sibling has had it.

symptoms

In case of fever cramps the child usually loses consciousness. The whole body becomes stiff, the head is often bent back, the skin becomes pale and may even become a little blue. It can jerk in both arms and legs. The attack usually goes on for one or a few minutes but can sometimes be longer. Afterwards, the child becomes weak but usually recovers quickly.

Occurs in infections with fever

Fever convulsions usually occur at the beginning of an infection, such as a common cold. Usually the fever is above 39 degrees. Although fever cramps look very dramatic, they are usually harmless to the child.

After vaccination

Sometimes a child can have a fever after a vaccination. This fever can trigger a seizure in some children, although it is unusual. This is no reason to avoid vaccinations.

When and where should I seek care?

You do not need to seek care if the child has had a similar cramp at an earlier time and you know what to do. 

If it’s in a hurry

Seek medical care directly at a health center or on-call reception the first time a child has a seizure in connection with a fever. You can contact many receptions by logging in . If it is closed at the health center or on-call reception, seek care at an emergency room.

  • The child receives seizures several times during the same day,
  • The child has ongoing muscle twitching or is rigid in the body.
  • The child does not regain consciousness within two minutes.

Investigations and investigations

Most children who have had fever cramps have already recovered when they come to the health center or emergency room. Most often, the doctor finds no other cause of the seizure than that the child has a viral infection with fever, and therefore no further investigations are usually needed. This is the most common type of fever and is called simple.

However, if the child does not get better or if the seizure is prolonged, the child needs to receive anticonvulsant medication that breaks the seizure. Then an investigation is also done to find out the cause of the fever and the seizure . The child is also usually investigated

  • it gets repeated attacks during the same fever period
  • it has had more than four febrile convulsions
  • it is less than six months or older than five years
  • It only has cramps in one arm, one leg or one half of the body
  • the fever has been below 39 degrees in several attacks.

Fever cramps with the above factors are called complicated.

Treatment

Sometimes the child may stay in hospital

Sometimes children who have had fever cramps may be admitted to the hospital for observation, especially if this is the first time they have occurred. Since fever cramps can be a daunting experience, many parents feel it is safe to stay in the hospital. You get time to recover and also the opportunity to calmly get information about what has happened.

Hard to prevent

It is not possible to prevent or treat fever cramps by giving the child fever-reducing medicines. Cooling, for example by bathing the child with cool damp cloths, is also not effective in preventing seizures. On the other hand, you can give anticonvulsant medication in the case of prolonged fever, ie cramps lasting more than a few minutes. It is given on the doctor’s prescription after previous visits to the health center or hospital.

Although it is not possible to prevent the cramps, a lowered body temperature can make the child generally feel better.

If the child gets fever cramps again

If the child gets fever spasms of the simple type again at a later date and you as a parent feel safe with the information you received, you do not need to go to hospital. The attack usually goes on in a few minutes. It is good to note how long the attack lasted and exactly how it looked.

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