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Fevers in children are always unpleasant, but a febrile seizure is downright frightening especially if you have no idea what is going on. Did your child have a febrile seizure? Here is what to do next.

Symptoms Simple febrile seizures present as shaking all over the body, muscle tightening, eye rolling, or all of those but they typically don't last very long. A febrile seizure can last for less than a minute (and even a few seconds), or can go on for up to quarter of an hour. Complex febrile seizures last longer, are repeated over a short period of time, or can be limited to only one side of the child's body.

What to do when it happens to your child? If your child's febrile seizure lasts for a long time (most doctors say over 10 minutes), if he is vomiting, or stops breathing for a while, call an ambulance. In the absence of vomiting, breathing difficulties, shortness of breath or a stiff neck, you could also consider driving to the ER yourself. The same rules apply if your child repeatedly has febrile seizures within the same day. Seizures that last a few seconds to minutes, and after which your child is fine, generally don't call for your immediate action and concern. Call your family doctor or pediatrician for a follow up.

Your child may have blood tests to check for a virus or bacterial infection, which can cause febrile seizures. Febrile seizures may also be linked to fever after vaccination. It's interesting to note that febrile seizures generally strike kids up to four, five or six years (depending on what source you look at). A follow up visit may include questions about epilepsy in your family. Kids who had a febrile seizure may be seen by a neurologist, largely due to concerns about epilepsy.

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