Complications of a fever may include:
- Severe dehydration
- Fever-induced seizure (febrile seizure), in a small number of children ages 6 months to 5 years
Febrile seizures usually involve loss of consciousness and shaking of limbs on both sides of the body. Although alarming for parents, the vast majority of febrile seizures cause no lasting effects.
If a seizure occurs:
- Lay your child on his or her side or stomach on the floor or ground
- Remove any sharp objects that are near your child
- Loosen tight clothing
- Hold your child to prevent injury
- Don't place anything in your child's mouth or try to stop the seizure
Most seizures stop on their own. Take your child to the doctor as soon as possible after the seizure to determine the cause of the fever.
Call for emergency medical assistance if a seizure lasts longer than 10 minutes.
May 29, 2014
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- What to do in a medical emergency: Fever. American College of Emergency Physicians. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=242. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Fever. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec14/ch167/ch167e.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Fever and your child. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://patiented.aap.org/content.aspx?aid=5107. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Schmitt BD. Pediatric Telephone Protocols. 14th ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2013:120-124.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Wing R, et al. Fever in the pediatric patient. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. 2013;31:1073.
- Ward MA. Fever in infants and children: Pathophysiology and management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Febrile seizures fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/febrile_seizures/detail_febrile_seizures.htm. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Laptook AR, et al. Admission temperature of low birth weight infants: Predictors and associated morbidities. Pediatrics. 2007;119:e643.
- Fever in adults. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/infections/biology_of_infectious_disease/fever_in_adults.html. Feb. 25, 2014.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 4, 2014.
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