Before diagnosing febrile seizures in infants and children, doctors sometimes perform tests to ensure that seizures are not caused by something other than simply the fever itself. For example, if a doctor suspects the child has meningitis (an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain), a spinal tap may be needed to check for signs of the infection in the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord). If there has been severe diarrhea or vomiting, dehydration could be responsible for seizures. Doctors often perform other tests, such as examining the blood and urine, to pinpoint the cause of the child's fever.
A child who has a febrile seizure usually does not need to be hospitalized. If the seizure is prolonged or accompanied by a serious infection, or if the source of the infection cannot be determined, a doctor may recommend that the child be hospitalized for observation.
This answer is based upon source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.