My understanding is that febrile seizures (ones that occur with fever) are actually not uncommon and that the bigger issue is making sure that what is causing the high fever (e.g. an infection) is being dealt with if that's something dangerous. I assume most of them aren't dangerous as a million viruses go around and cause fevers. I agree that keeping her fever down is the goal but that if a child is prone to having febrile seizures that they are likely to have one at least once again in early childhood.
Do you like and trust your pediatrician? Hopefully you do and that advice from her/him is something that you can basically trust. I don't know what the best emergency room is in your area but here in the East Bay Children's Hospital is the place to go. Is there another place that you think might be helpful if you have one of these episodes again or is your pediatrician on call in the middle of the night?
This is advice I found for you on the Berkeley Parents Network from when someone posted a similar question:
Question: My son had a fever seizure for the first time yesterday. He's fine now, fever down, anti-biotics at work. Although the common medical wisdom is that these fever seizures are essentially harmless, I found the whole experience--including the ride in the ambulance and the six-hour stay with multiple tests at the hospital--to be terrifying. And we've been advised that it may or may not happen again next time hehas a fever. I would appreciate hearing from other parents who have kids with fever seizures for some advice about how I can control my anxiety next time my boy has a fever, and some nuts and bolts about how to deal with this mysterious condition. Thank you. cbw
from what i know, the febrile seizures occur when the child's body temperature spikes too quickly. my son had one when he was 2. it was a short one and it has never happened since. he is almost 5 and i think that is when the occurences decrease significantly. the next time your son gets a fever, he will not necessarily have a seizure. i don't think there is much you can do about your anxiety except that if it happens again, you will have more knowledge and experience. (the first time i went to the ER with my child, i cried; since then, i have been to the ER 3-4 more times, but with less anxiety.)
my coworker's daughter had frequent seizures that would last up to 30 minutes!!! she even had to do CPR on her own child. how scary. she eventually had tubes put into her ears and that really helped. been there
My daughter had 3 febrile seizures between ages 1 and 2 and 1/2. The first one was the most terrifying. Call to 911, ride to the hospital, tests and more tests, but the other two were not much better. I got the same advice that they are not a big deal and there are no lasting effects. I am not sure I believe that because my daughter did start having language problems shortly thereafter (but I am not a doctor so could not say definitively what was cause and effect).
Anyway the doctors all said nothing we did could prevent the seizures (a result of the fever spiking up suddenly), but once I started paying close attention to her temperature when she was sick and making sure she took motrin when it first got elevated she never had another seizure although she has had fevers.
I don't know that this will easy your anxiety, but my daughter is now 5 and a half and a has not had a seizure in 3 years. A Mom
Our daughter had her first fever seizure at about 13 months. It scared the hell out of us, and we also spent hours in the hospital emergency room making sure everything was OK. But the doctors (as well as all the books we read) assured us that, although harrowing, fever seizures have no impact on the child. She's now a happy, healthy, very verbal, very active 3 1/2 year old. She's had 2 other seizures since that first one--each just as traumatic for us--but they seem to have had no lasting effect on her. Doctors and books also said that this condition seems to only affect children until they are 5 or 6 years old.
That said, here's how we deal with it: If it appears, even remotely, that she's getting a fever we give her a dose of children's Tylenol, and get her in the bathtub. Either my husband or I get in the tub with her. We don't make the tub water cold, just warm and comfortable for us both to sit in. Most of the time we've been lucky and caught it on time. Also, now that she's older and bigger, it really doesn't seem to happen as much (knock on wood). Feel free to email if you want to discuss further. ruth
My son also had fever seizures when he was younger, four in fact. The first one occured on Christmas Day. I tell you, I still can't see the pictures of the family dinner we shared on the 24th because it only brings back horrible memories of our ride to the hospital at 2AM. It was horrifying.
The best advice I can give you is that you need to always try and keep your child's temperature down. When you notice she/he is getting a fever, immediately dose him up on advil which is good at reducing fevers. From what our pediatrician told us several years ago, the seizures occur because our son's temperature rose too quickly for his brain to stabilize. I'm sure there are plenty of other factors, but that was the one that made most sense and since then it has been my husband and my mission to always keep his fever under control. My son is now 8 years old and has been seizure free for the last 5-6 years. However, I know it can always happen again. Just maybe not as frequent as when he was smaller.
Remember, reduce your child's fever as early as possible. Bathe him in luke warm water and do whatever it takes to make sure his temperature does not rise too quickly. If it does happen again, although it is hard not to, don't panic. Make sure he is breathing properly and take him to the hospital if he is not conscious or responsive after the seizure subsides. I know it's hard. I know it's difficult and scary to see your child go through this. But the good thing is that children tend to outgrown this. It'll be okay. J's Mom
Good luck and just use your gut instincts to manage it all - sounds like the goal is to keep the fever down but to not worry.