Febrile seizures can be alarming, especially if you see it happen to a young child. Although it may seem frightening, febrile seizures usually end without any serious health complications. Having one doesn’t equate to brain damage or epilepsy.
But what is febrile seizure? In simple terms, these are convulsions that happen during a fever. Often, it affects young children between 1 – 3 years old. The seizures only last for a few minutes and are always accompanied by fever that is above 38°C. No wonder some parents refer to febrile seizures as fever fits. Administering the right medicine for headache and fever from the get go can help prevent it.
No one knows exactly why febrile seizures occur.
Some medical studies point to certain viruses, while there are others that look to family history. Studies show that almost 35% of kids who have experienced a febrile convulsion will experience another episode in the next 1-2 years. The good news is, most children will outgrow these seizures when they reach the age of 5 and there are simply not enough studies that link febrile seizures to epilepsy.
If your child has a febrile seizure, the first rule is to stay calm.
Make sure that your child is located in a safe place where he or she will not hot anything hard. Don’t try to hold or restrain your child as this may only injure your child.
Next, lay your child on his or her side in order to prevent choking.
Make sure that you do not put anything in your child’s mouth as it may result to further complications. If your child is salivating or vomiting, gently turn his or head to the side. Keep an eye out for signs of difficulty in breathing. Check if your child’s face changed color in any way.
Febrile seizures will only last a couple of minutes, 15 at most and it’s a rare case.
If your child turns blue or if you notice anything else that may cause alarm, it’s time to get your child to emergency care.
Do not try to give your child any fever reducing medicine during the seizure or try to place your child in cool water to starve the fever off.
After the seizure, it would be best to consult with a doctor to check the cause of the fever. Your doctor will most likely ask you to describe the seizure in detail in order to come up with a proper diagnosis. In most cases, your doctor will recommend the standard treatment for fever and prescribe fever medicine that is appropriate to your child’s age. If your doctor sees other symptoms like prolonged vomiting, he or she may recommend further testing.
It may seem scary to witness your child having a febrile seizure, but remember that this condition is fairly common in young children.
With proper care and the right medication, you’ll be able to nurse your child to good health in no time.
Have any tips on how to care for your child when he or she has a fever? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.