Convulsions are also known as ‘fits’, ‘epileptic attacks’ or ‘seizures’. Essentially, they’re states of altered consciousness, which can vary in severity.
Convulsions happen because of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Febrile convulsions are seizures that occur because of fever, which is a temperature higher than 38°C. High fevers might come with an infection. We don’t know why, but in these cases, the rapid rise in temperature causes an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain.
Febrile convulsions are pretty common, occurring in about 4% of children between the ages of six months and five years. Two-thirds of these children will only ever have one fit. Most will occur while the child is younger than three years old.
Children who have their first febrile convulsion before the age of one year have a higher risk of having recurrent febrile convulsions. This type of convulsion tends to run in families, and affects boys more often than girls.