Mami MD: Meet Dr. G


Before you ask, no she’s not the forensic pathologist. Dr. G is this fantastic and fabulous human being that I have the honor of sharing the blogosphere with!  While at BlissDom, we got to talking since the frog princess had been feverish right before my trip and I asked her a question that I wanted to share.  It wasn’t until I went through my keywords recently that I realized how many people were searching for information on febrile seizures.

Dr. G (Deborah Gilboa, MD) has been empowering parents around the country to increase their knowledge and to utilize the parenting instincts they already have, but have been dampened by stress, doubt and guilt, so that they may raise their kids to be people they respect and admire.

You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Tell her Mami sent you!

Here is my question and her response:

Our daughter has febrile seizures. Whenever she gets a fever (even a low grade one) we treat her with acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen. It’s scary to think that she could have another one. However, I know that normally, I wouldn’t treat a fever like this unless it gets to be over 101. Should we continue to treat any fevers that happen in the future? Seeing her seize was the hardest thing to go through and we are scared that she’ll have more. Thanks, Dr. G!

First off, sweet mama, let me say that I completely understand how scary it is to watch your child have a seizure. A febrile seizure can last up to 15 minutes, which can take about 10 years off the life expectancy of an adult watching it happen! So that brings me to the most important part of this answer.

Febrile seizures are scary but NOT dangerous!

For your readers, let me explain a little about this. Febrile seizures are different than epilepsy. This is a full body (general) seizure that occurs in a child, usually between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old. The seizure starts as a brain reaction to a fever, and does not only happen with high temperatures. The seizure only happens once in a 24 hour period and usually doesn’t happen again during that same illness. The best news of all: febrile seizures do not cause any type of developmental delay or neurological damage!

However, you’re right that she may have another. 32% of kids who have one febrile seizure will have them again before the age of 5.

So the good news is, this kind of seizure is not dangerous in the moment (unless she falls and hits her head on something – and this is really rare, kids are usually already lying on the couch or bed because they’re not feeling well), and will not cause long term problems. Except, of course, heart failure in the parent from worrying.

Here is the answer to your question: Stop giving her medicine at the first sign of a fever. It doesn’t help. In a large studies of children with a history of a febrile seizure, administering fever-lowering medicine did not prevent the recurrence of a seizure. That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics gives it’s highest level of recommendation to NOT giving acetaminophen or ibuprofen to prevent febrile seizures.

Why not just give it anyway to make her more comfortable while she’s sick? Because fever is your friend. Having a fever will help kill the virus or other germs that are making her sick, and she’ll get better faster.

I know that this is hard advice to follow. The truth is, though, the medicine you’re giving her is only treating your worry, not her risk. If you’re still highly stressed, take a first aid and CPR for kids class. Kids don’t die during febrile seizures (again, big studies that show no increased risk) but it may help you feel more in control. Knowledge is power!

*and because we know this has to be said, check out the legal disclaimer in regards to this advice: Dr. G is NOT your doctor.


Sili is the owner and Chief Executive Mami of Organizada Planner  and My Mamihood. She was selected as one of Latina Magazine's top Blogger to Know and Latina Magazine's top 10 Mommy bloggers. Mothering a 6-year old little girl and figuring out why the clean laundry won't automatigically insert itself where it belongs round out her current passions. Sili is deeply committed to changing the world and coaching you right along toward your purpose. She is viciously awesome. Sili raises armies and builds empires. She also bakes cookies and thangs.


  1. I don’t have kids but this is great advice for any parent – am sharing!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Polishing My MirrorMy Profile

  2. Wow. Who knew. Great advice Doc. So does that apply to fevers in general? If my baby gets a fever due to the flu, for example, do I stay clear of the meds?
    Hopefully knowing this will add some years to Mami Sili’s life. 🙂
    Natalia Nanton recently posted..How To Make The Most Of SpringMy Profile

    • Natalia,
      This applies to all fevers IF the child is drinking well, urinating well and not lethargic. Talk to your doctor to know for sure. The truth is that many fevers can be left alone, and that allows the body to get rid of germs the fastest.

  3. I’m so happy to be here! Thanks for having me, and I hope you’ll all send me more questions!

  4. I hope you come back often Dr. G. This is great advice. We just went in for a check up with the pediatrician today. I’m the parent that comes in with a million questions written down in my phone!

  5. Adhriene Says: April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Thanks for the great advice Doc…You are an inspiration to us here…anyway, thank you for your awesome post and I hope we can hear more of you too…
    Adhriene recently posted..Tomira Dating SiteMy Profile

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