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My Toddler had a Febrile (Fever-Induced) Seizure...Have You Experienced This?

By May 15, 2008 - 1:10pm
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My toddler stopped breathing last night, his lips turned blue, he was shaking and his eyes rolled back into his head. It was the scariest 60 seconds of my life.

I called 911, as my husband ran my limp son into the living room. It took 20 RINGS for anyone to pick up the phone!

Within minutes, the paramedics and then EMT were at our house. By this time, our son was smiling and waiving at everyone. He thought it was funny that there were so many people (8 of us) in his tiny nursery.

After a SIX HOUR wait at the Emergency Room to see a doctor, we were told he had a febrile seizure. Common in toddlers who have a fever. The day before, my son had a temperature of 103 degrees. I gave him Tylenol as instructed, and the fever went down. I didn't realize that fevers can spike quickly.

I've found some great information on the Mayo Clinic website for Febrile Seizures. There is no long-term damage associated with them, when they last less than 10 minutes. (10 minutes?! Are you kidding?! I thought ONE minute was a lifetime!).

Here's the information I found on Febrile Seizures. It is very helpful. I'd love to hear from others who have experienced this extremely frightening condition!!


Add a Comment35 Comments

Has anyone experienced it when there child was sleeping and woke up to it? That's what happened to me my sons sick tonight and had a fever he doesn't anymore I've been rotating Tylenol and Motrin every 4 n 6 hrs I'm just wondering if its okay to let him sleep in his own bed as long as I keep getting up every 4 n 6 hrs or if I should b nervous n worried and let him sleep in my room

December 5, 2012 - 12:10am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Whit)

Hi Whit

What has your doctor said?

There is nothing wrong at all with keeping him in your room or you sleeping with him - I used to do that simply for my own reassurance!

But if he's ok on his own, and you're ok, then I'm sure that's fine too. How is he feeling now?


December 6, 2012 - 2:03pm

Hi Alison, thank-you very much for getting back to me so quickly. At this point it is said to be fever induced. But if it continues with and without fevers then he will need further testing. For me I know what it's like to go through this with a client who is an adult. But like you said when it's your child... it's the scariest thing in the whole world. I will keep you posted if anything further happens. The first and hopefully last seizure was just last night. Has a high temp again tonight but not as bad as before. But like I said I will keep you posted. Thanks again.


June 5, 2011 - 11:15pm

Hi Melissa,
It is scary to watch your child go through anything traumatic or painful, and the only thing that has helped me be able to mentally cope with this is knowing that every other mom and dad feel the same way. It helped me to talk about it with my mom friends (and, I originally wrote the article, which helped me, too).

The passing of time has helped me not worry so much, and to be able to "get over" the mental picture and endless worry. I now have a second son, and my first son (who had the seizures) has not had another one for over 2 years. However...he had a high fever last week (first time he's been sick in over a year), and my mind immediately goes "over the top" to him having a febrile seizure. With my second son, if he gets a high fever, I worry but not to the same extent. I think it's just called being a mom, and I know I am going to have other times when there is a playground accident, hurt feelings at school, him driving for the first time (he is only 4 years old!)...all of these experiences we have now are helping us learn how to cope with future stresses that are inevitable.

i read the best quote about having kids: it means giving your heart permission to walk around outside of your body. our hearts are going to be trampled on, hurt, broken...and hopefully also filled with love and overwhelming joy as our kids grow up.

Please keep us updated on your son. I was still unclear if his seizure was related to his high temperature, but he sounds like he has a very knowledgeable and caring mom! Take care of yourself, too!

June 5, 2011 - 9:50pm

Just to add as i don't think i made it very clear.. I did call the public health nurse to see what I should do and as I do have the proper training to handle seizures and all types of mental disabilities the nurse said that it was up to me if I chose to take him in or not, that I did everything that they would have done to begin with and that if nothing changed or it happened again that it would be recommended to take him in but as of now he should be fine. So that is why I haven't brought him in yet and I am just waiting.

June 5, 2011 - 9:36pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hello everyone, this is pretty new to me.. I just signed up on this website. Today is June 5th 2011. Just yesterday I am almost 95% positive that my 4 and a half year old son had a fever induced seizure. I never called 911 or took him into the hospital as I have worked with individuals with development disabilities and epilepsy for 5 years now and have much experience with it. I do have training and certificates to handle these situations and to anyone you ask i handle them well. So I am keeping an eye on him and if i notice anything happen even one more time my plan is to take him into the hospital to get neurology testing done. To explain this to all of you a little better about my son... for the past 2 weeks now he has been on and off sick. High fever for a day or two then he is fine and playing like normal for 3 to 4 days and back to having a high fever, not eating or throwing up when he does eat. chills and all. pale white face red red cheeks and glossy red eyes. His entire body was hot hot to the touch. I have given him fever and pain reducer medication as needed and directed by a public health nurse and or the instructions on the bottle. His temp was as high as 104 degrees. I put my son in a cold bath to reduce the fever which worked for a while and the medication helped as well. This was done yesterday morning and the night before. Then all day yesterday he seemed to been a bit better to my comfort, i hoped that it would finally be done with. At bedtime when he was changing for bed i came upstairs and looked down the hall and into my sons bedroom as he was standing in front of his bedroom doorway. He appeared to be pale again. Suddenly he went from standing flat footed on the floor appearing to look kinda sad/sick feeling, arms down at his sides, frown on his face to his eyes and mouth opened wide, head lifted up looking directly in front of himself. up on his tippy toes and his arms came up against his chest, hands pointing towards each other in a claw like position and 2 light shakes of his body then his head turned slowly facing me and his body relaxed after about 10 seconds and he appeared dazed. None responsive to anything i said but awake and eyes open. I asked him if he was just playing around and if he was trying to make a funny face at me. I did not get a response. which for my son is not normal and usually if he were playing around making faces he would have stopped as soon as he saw me which is not what happened at all. it lasted for about 7 seconds after his head faced me. It took about 5 minutes to get a response but he did not know what i was talking about, did not remember anything and said.. "i was just getting ready for bed mommy i did not play at all." Then he finished getting dressed and got into his bed. All day today he seemed fine. yesterday about 2 hours before that incident he was acting a little off. but i didn't think that anything like that would happen. as of about 30 minutes ago he seems to be feeling a little warm again. I gave him some medication and am watching him very closely. To be honestly I am freaking out inside. I am terrified even though I know how to deal with this. It is an completely different feeling when it's your child and not just a client or resident. I am so scared for my son and I am praying that he does not have more episodes. One of my old clients got his first seizure through a fever and now more than 10 years later he has full epilepsy, seizures all the time. I am terrified that could happen to my son. As a mother does anyone have any helpful ways to mentally deal with this. I should be more calm about it than I am and honestly I feel like im screaming inside. I am happy to hear about everyone who has come out of this well and healthy. I pray that no man woman or child should ever have to endure this but that prayer will not be answered any time soon. I just need a little help and strength. Why can't I get over this horrible feeling and get rid of these horrible thoughts. Part of me says don't be silly, he's fine he will be ok no matter what, and the other part of me say's, he's my baby, this is not ok. I have seen 10 minute long seizures and they are scary. but that was nowhere near as scary as seeing what i saw from my son last night and it was only 10 seconds. Maybe i am just over freaking out here. I just feel like I have noone to talk to. I don't want anyone to think that I am a spaz.. this is just not like me. I don't frighten easily... why can't i get past this feeling. has anyone else felt this? what did you do to ease this?

June 5, 2011 - 8:51pm
EmpowHER Guest

this morning my three years old boy chocking, his lips turned blue and his eyes rolled back .me and wife got shoked we hold him and try to open his mouth, he closed his jaws so thight we try to put one finger in to his mouth really difficult we hold him really scary moment we are praying and after 30 sec he start to breath normally
and he become normal no fever no nothing .we dont know what is going on but i am going to take him to the dockter. if any one has some experiance let us know

February 19, 2011 - 6:41am
(reply to Anonymous)

Please let us know what your doctor says about his symptoms...I'm glad to hear he is OK...that sounds very scary!

Just so you know, the symptoms of Roseola are a high fever (you said your son has no fever), and a symptom of Roseola is not choking.

Do you think he was choking on an object, and this caused the other reactions? Or, are you wondering if he had a seizure that caused the jaw clenching and choking? Either way, please keep us informed.

February 20, 2011 - 8:33am
EmpowHER Guest

my daughter just had one for the first time yesterday afternoon. She is 2.5 years old and had spiked a fever the night before. I gave her ibuprofen and her fever went down but she had trouble sleeping so I slept by her side as she was willing to remain in bed if I was there.

the next morning she slept until 9am, was awake for a few minutes and then slept until 11am in my arms. i had to leave for class around 1pm so I was at school when it happened. But my husband says her eyes rolled to the corners and she stopped talking. He called her name a few times and grabbed her arms but she didnt respond. Then she started to slowly move her jaws as if she were chewing and started drooling. he laid her on the ground and called 911.

she started to turn blue and was making choking sounds so he rolled her to her side. she eventually vomited and color returned to her body. during this time her arms and legs were moving every so often slowly. she started to come out of it 8 minutes later when the paramedics arrived.

the er docs and her ped (at the followup) said that it was a febrile fever even though she didnt have a very high temp at the time. something about her having a fever within 24 hours. i also heard it is not damaging which is a relief but hearing that it lasted 8 minutes and she turned blue terrifies me. i keep running into her room every time i hear a cough to check on her. last night, i even woke her up because she was drooling and i wanted to be sure she was fine.

thanks for sharing your story. while i hear that its not uncommon, its still absolutely frightening.

November 5, 2010 - 12:32am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)


Thanks so much for sharing your story and I'm glad you found EmpowHER to see that is is not uncommon - but yes, quite terrifying for parents. As a parent myself, I was scared even just reading your story!

I'm glad all is well for your family now and come back anytime you need information or help. We have a Parenting Group here: http://www.empowher.com/groups/parenting-group that may also be of interest to you!


November 5, 2010 - 11:42am
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