Seizures after vaccination don't affect kids' development

  • Children may suffer febrile seizures after being vaccinated
  • This can be distressing for both the child and the parents
  • Australian researchers, however, found that vaccines are safe and that these seizures will not negatively affect kids' development

Kids who have a fever-related seizure after getting a vaccine won't have developmental and behavioural problems as a result, according to a new study.

These so-called febrile seizures do not affect children's development whether they occur after a vaccination or not, the researchers said.

"A febrile seizure can occur following vaccination and understandably can be quite distressing to parents. It can also cause parents to lose confidence in future vaccinations," said study author Dr Lucy Deng. She is a paediatrician at the National Center for Immunization Research and Surveillance in Sydney, Australia.

"Now, parents will be relieved to hear that having a febrile seizure following vaccination does not affect the child's development," Deng added.

Emerging new diseases

For the study, Deng's team compared 62 kids who had a fever-related seizure within two weeks of a shot with 70 who had a seizure from another cause and 90 who never had a seizure. All were about two years old.

The investigators found no differences in development, thinking skills or behaviour among the three groups.

"At a time when there is a global resurgence of measles and new diseases are emerging, our findings are particularly important in reassuring parents and providers on the safety of vaccines," Deng said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

The report was published online on 1 July in the journal Neurology.

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