Febrile Seizures

My worst nightmare happened this weekend. Emerson got a fever Friday and he just wasn’t himself. He wouldn’t eat, drink or sleep well. It’s not unusual for our little guy to have fevers, but this time was different. Medication wasn’t helping bring down his temperature. We’ve known from an early age that Tylenol hasn’t been very effective for Emerson, and Ibuprofen works much better for him. I was even alternating between the two, and still no luck.

After laying with him for an hour trying to nap on Saturday, around 1pm we decided it was best to take him to the hospital. By 3pm, Emerson had his first febrile seizure while we were waiting to see a doctor in a triage room. After yelling for help, a doctor and two nurses picked him up and started running through the emergency room into the trauma area calling out for a room. Dan and I both recall the feeling that we might be losing our Emerson as we were running through the halls. It was honestly the most traumatizing feeling of my life and writing this still makes me cry.

When the doctor and nurses got him on a trauma bed, they immediately gave him oxygen as his lips were turning blue, which I know now is not uncommon. The seizure lasted about a minute and a half long, although if you asked me, it felt like the longest minute and a half of my life. Once the seizure stopped, he was still unconscious and they tried to get an IV in his hand. Within seconds another seizure started and they administered anti-seizure medication to stop them. I was allowed to stand with Emerson the entire time to hold his hands and talk to him through his unconscious and groggy conscious states as they worked. Dan was also in the room with Alivia.

The next few hours consisted of multiple pokes and prodding to run tests on his blood, sugars, mouth, nose, urine, and lungs. Emerson spent most of this time conscious with lots of tears. After a few hours, his fever went down and they admitted Emerson to the paediatric unit around 9pm to stay the night with Dan. I went home as I am nursing Alivia. The next day he was released. Drs concluded that the febrile seizures resulted from a quickly spiked fever from viral flu, and his x-ray also showed viral pneumonia. No prescriptions would treat this, we just needed to continue alternating Tylenol and Advil at his max doses until the fever subsided.

What do we now know about febrile seizures?

We know that febrile seizures are not uncommon. Between 2-5% of children, (or between 2 to 5 out of 100 children) will have at least one febrile seizure between the ages of six months and five years. We learnt that there is a strong genetic component to febrile seizures. Parents of a child with febrile seizures often had febrile seizures too, even though neither Dan or I ever have. Siblings are more likely to have them as well, so we will have to be on the watch for this with Alivia. Emerson is also much more likely to have them again now that he’s had them. That said, I’m sorry to friends and family if we now avoid you like the plague if your child has had a fever or flu-like symptoms.

I am also so glad that these seizures happened in the hospital, because Dan and I did not know what to do. If your child is having a seizure, stay calm (eye roll) and take the following steps:

1. Keep child away from sources of danger. Remove sharp or hard objects.
2. Do not restrain child. Roll child on their side so any fluids can drain out of mouth.
3. Try to put something soft under their head.
4. Do not put anything in their mouth.
5. If possible, time the seizure and observe their movements as this information is important for the doctor.
6. If seizure lasts less than 3 minutes, take your child to a doctor right away. If seizure lasts more than 3 minutes, call an ambulance right away.
(*Information and Statistics from Sick Kids Hospital)

If you are ever unsure about a rising temperature in your little one, see a doctor. Seek clarification on accurate dosage for fever medication based on their weight. I hope you never need the above, but I also hope you find it useful. Knowledge is power when it comes to our little ones health.

Love Always,




Emerson in Hospital Video

Emerson in Hospital Video



  1. Courtney
    November 18, 2019 / 10:06 pm

    Oh my gosh Laura, how terrifying! I had no idea this was common so thank you for educating me. I can’t believe how scary that must have been. So glad Emmerson is okay and feeling much better. Sending my best healing thoughts!

    • lovealwayslaurablog
      November 22, 2019 / 5:55 pm

      Thanks Courtney! It definitely was super scary, but I’m glad you were able to take something from our experience. Appreciate the positive thoughts!

  2. MK
    December 1, 2019 / 3:56 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I came across this post as I was looking for info as my son (he’s 4) had one just last night. We were at home and I had to call 911 – first time in my 38 years. It was terrifying but they came in 7 minutes and he was still seizing. They gave him anti-seizure meds in the ambulance and when they got to the Children’s hospital they ran tests. He was better (tired and out of sorts, but responsive) after 4 hours and we were able to go home. They said it was due to high fever and, like you side, not uncommon. Today he’s been really out of it and still feverish and I’m so worried. I can’t shake this feeling that something horrible is going to happen.

    • lovealwayslaurablog
      December 3, 2019 / 12:59 am

      Hey girl! I’m so sorry this happened to you. It is absolutely terrifying, isn’t it. I don’t wish that feeling upon anyone. It might not feel like it now, but we are two weeks + 2 days since our incident, and my worries and anxiety’s have subsided. I will still be hyper aware every time he is feverish, but I’m not worrying about it on day-to-day. Emerson’s fever subsided by the Monday (seizures on a Sat), he broke out with a heat rash all over himself Tuesday even though no more fevers. We took him to the doctor and they advised it was just a symptom of virus leaving his body. Two weeks later, I was back at Dr today for the same rash, although it’s changed in its appearance and moved around his body. Dr confirmed that it is still not unusual to present like this weeks later. Just so you know in case your little one experiences the same over the next few weeks. Out of curiousity, did your babe just have the 4 year old shots recently?

  3. January 7, 2021 / 2:39 pm

    Oh mama, I’m sorry sorry you went through this. We went through this with my little guy as well and know how scary this can be. BTW I also realize you wrote this post over a year ago but I just found you on IG and when I came here to your site this was the first thing I saw. Sometimes it helps to know that we are not alone in this so I wanted to drop you a quick message.

    Wishing you peace and happiness in 2021


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