First aid for febrile convulsions in children and babies

Managing febrile convulsions in children and babies: Essential first aid

Febrile convulsions, though frightening, are relatively common occurrences in children and babies. Understanding how to respond promptly and effectively is crucial for caregivers and healthcare professionals alike. In this blog, Rose delves into the essential first aid measures for managing febrile convulsions, ensuring the safety and well-being of the young ones in our care.

Key facts and importance

Febrile convulsions are seizures triggered by high fever in infants and young children, typically between six months and five years old. They affect around 2-5% of children, with a peak incidence between 18 to 24 months of age [1]. While they often resolve without intervention, they can be distressing for both the child and caregivers. Prompt and appropriate first aid is vital to manage the situation effectively and prevent complications.

Key definitions

  • Febrile convulsions - Seizures triggered by fever in children.
  • Seizure - A sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain.

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

In the UK, healthcare providers and caregivers must adhere to relevant legislation and best practices when managing febrile convulsions. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidelines on workplace first aid, including procedures for managing seizures. Additionally, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) offers comprehensive guidance on managing febrile convulsions in children [2].

Recognising febrile convulsions

  • Symptoms - Febrile convulsions typically involve sudden shaking or twitching of the limbs, loss of consciousness, and sometimes, rolling of the eyes.
  • Duration - They usually last for less than five minutes, although they can feel much longer during the episode.

First aid measures

  • Stay calm - Maintain composure to provide effective assistance.
  • Protect the child - Move nearby objects to prevent injury during convulsions.
  • Lay the child down - Place the child on a flat surface to prevent falls and ensure their safety.
  • Monitor breathing - Check that the child's airway remains clear and monitor their breathing.
  • Time of the seizure - Note the duration of the convulsion. If it lasts longer than five minutes, seek urgent medical attention.


  • Seek medical help - While most febrile convulsions stop on their own and do not cause long-term harm, it's crucial to seek medical advice after the episode to identify the underlying cause and prevent future occurrences.
  • Temperature management - Take steps to reduce the child's fever, such as administering appropriate doses of paracetamol or ibuprofen under medical guidance.
  • Educate caregivers - Ensure parents and caregivers are educated on recognising and managing febrile convulsions to respond effectively in emergencies.


Febrile convulsions in children and babies can be distressing, but with prompt and appropriate first aid, the situation can be managed effectively. By staying calm, protecting the child, and seeking medical advice when necessary, caregivers can ensure the safety and well-being of young ones experiencing febrile convulsions.

Click here to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to respond to febrile convulsions effectively. Enrol in our paediatric first aid training course today and be prepared to handle emergencies with confidence.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Managing febrile convulsions in children and babies: Essential first aid - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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