Karen Savage | CWK Network
"Seizures with fever are not all that uncommon in babies. And between the age of about 6 months and 6 years, about 5 percent of all kids will experience seizure at least one time with fever."
- Dr. Kathleen Nelson, professor of pediatrics -
Eighteen-month-old Abby Mae gives the doctor a big smile in the emergency room. She doesn't look sick. But a few hours earlier, says Dr. Kathleen Nelson, "According to her mom, the day care called her to tell her that Abby was having what looked like a convulsion."
She also had a fever of 103. Dr. Nelson says, "We felt this was consistent with what we call simple febrile seizure. Seizures with fever are not all that uncommon in babies. And between the age of about 6 months and 6 years, about 5 percent of all kids will experience seizure at least one time with fever."
This was actually Abby Mae's second seizure. A few months ago her dad says, "She cried out real loud and then suddenly stopped. And I went in to check on her, and she was rigid or stiff and then she started to jerk and shake." He says her entire body shook for about three or four minutes.
Both seizures fit the criteria for a simple febrile seizure, a frightening, but usually harmless seizure caused by a rapid rise in temperature.
Dr. Nelson says, "It has to be in a child between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old. It has to be brief. For us brief is 15 minutes or less … and it has to be generalized – that means it can't be just one arm or one leg."
There is no treatment for the seizure. Doctors will treat the cause of Abby Mae's fever, probably a urinary tract infection that will need antibiotics.