Febrile seizures cannot be prevented by giving the child lukewarm baths, applying cool cloths to the child's head or body, or using fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Doing these things may make a feverish child feel better, but they do not prevent febrile seizures.
During a seizure, place the child on his or her side on a protected surface and observe carefully. Keep track of the time, and if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, call 911 or take the child to an emergency facility if you can do so safely.
Most children who have febrile seizures do not require daily treatment with seizure medicines. Some children who have repeated episodes of multiple febrile seizures are treated with medication to reduces the risk of having more seizures.
Children who have had unusually long febrile seizures and children who live in a remote area with poor access to medical care may also be considered for treatment with medication.
Rarely, some children with prolonged febrile seizures or frequent episodes of febrile seizures are treated prophylactically.
Other medications can be given at the time of a febrile seizure:
- Diastat (diazepam) gel or liquid diazepam can be given by rectum
- Klonopin (clonazepam) wafers can be placed on the tongue or a tablet form of diazepam or lorazepam can be crushed and put between the cheek and the gum.
- Giving the child diazepam/valium when illness or fever begins can reduce the risk of recurrent febrile seizures. To prevent one febrile seizure in this way, however, 14 other children who were never destined to have another febrile seizure will also be treated. Thirty percent of children treated with Valium have troublesome side effects such as sleepiness, irritability, and poor coordination that may last for several days.