Alistair and febrile fits

Febrile convulsions are never easy to witness, no matter how “prepared” you may think you are. If you’ve been following my blog, you may know that Amy has had two febrile convulsions. Well, last month, Alistair had his first febrile fit.

Long story short, he started having a fever on Sunday, and then on Monday, his temperature spiked up too quickly, which caused him to go into a febrile convulsion. We later found out that he had viral tonsillitis, which, apparently, could sometimes cause temperatures to fluctuate quickly.

My mind knew all the facts: febrile convulsions are harmless. Stay calm. It’s OK. Wait for it to be over. He will be OK.

But my heart still went haywire, and I totally freaked out when his lips turned blue during the seizure. I was carrying him when he went into the seizure, so I quickly put him down on the floor and told my friend / babysitter to call triple zero (emergency and ambulance services in Melbourne). (Thank God I had called for my friend to come over earlier in the day! I don’t know what I would do if I was all alone with both kids when this happened!)

By the time the paramedics arrived, Alistair’s convulsions had ended, but we went to the hospital anyway to make sure he was OK. Not so much because of the convulsions, but more to check what caused the fever.

I’ve written about febrile fits before, but, I thought I should just write a bit about it again here just in case you are a new parent and nobody has warned you about febrile fits before. Just in case it happens, I want you to know what to expect and what to do.

What to do

If your child goes into a febrile fit,

  1. Try not to panic (easier said than done I know).
  2. Lay him on his side on a flat surface and take note of how long the convulsions last.
  3. Try to observe what happens, so that you can describe to the doctor later.
  4. DO NOT put anything into your child’s mouth during the convulsions.
  5. Your child will usually be very tired after the convulsions. Continue to note what happens, i.e. how soon your child regain consciousness or start responding to you.
  6. Wait for the convulsions to end, then bring your child to the doctor or hospital.
  7. If there’s no other adults with you to watch your child in the car while you drive, call the ambulance.


  1. Febrile convulsions, even though extremely scary to see, are usually harmless. There is normally no side effects on your child.
  2. High temperatures do not cause febrile convulsions. Rather, the convulsions happen because the temperature rose up too quickly.

You can find more helpful info here.

At the end of the day, it’s still scary. And I confess that every time my kids get a fever, I become really paranoid because I am so scared that they would get another convulsion. No matter how much I have been assured that febrile convulsions are harmless, I still hope and pray that I do not see another.

I hope this would somehow help and prepare you as a new parent a bit, because when it first happened to Amy, we were all shaken to the core. Nobody ever told us about febrile convulsions. We didn’t know what was happening and we seriously thought we were losing her.

Anyway. May our children continue to have good health and strong bodies!




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