Nothing is more scary to a parent than seeing their child have a seizure, it comes on suddenly and can leave you feeling helpless and very very scared.
The fact that you will be already stressed and worried with them being unwell and having a temperature just increases the fear factor. What can you do to help this? Well firstly understand what a febrile seizure is and then learn what to do if it happens. By knowing what’s happening and being able to do something will give you more control and allow you to help your child until the ambulance arrives.
What are febrile seizures?
Febrile seizures (febrile convulsions) are fits that can happen when a child has a fever. They most often happen between the ages of six months and three years. Generally they are harmless (if not very frightening) and last less than 5 minutes.
***warning viewers may find upsetting***
What causes a febrile seizure?
The are many thoughts on what causes a febrile Convulsions, some experts believe it’s the degree of fever whilst others believe it is the rate of rise of temperature is a trigger in febrile seizures. There are some genetic factors are involved i.e. If there is a family history of febrile seizure.
Some causes of seizures
The vast majority are:
• Viral infections
• Otitis media
Other causes of fever with seizure are:
• Post immunisation
what to expect
Febrile seizures usually last fewer than 5 minutes; however, they may last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or longer. seizure symptoms can vary. In mild cases, the child’s eyes may roll or his or her limbs may become rigid (stiff). During a febrile seizure, children are unable to respond (i.e., unresponsive) and may lose consciousness. If the child is standing, he or she will fall.
Some Other symptoms of febrile seizures include the following:
Breathing difficulty (e.g., apnea; the child may turn bluish in color)
Contraction of the muscles of the face, limbs, and body
Involuntary moaning, crying, and/or passing of urine
After a period of time (usually a few seconds to a few minutes), the muscles relax, causing rhythmic jerking. Once the seizure is over, the child may be sleepy or confused. Although very frightening these are normal and resolve very quickly.
What can I do if a seizure happens?
firstly and most importantly YOU need to try to stay calm, talk to your child and reassure them.
If your child is having a febrile seizure, place them in the recovery position. Stay with your child and try to make a note of how long the seizure lasts.
Don’t put anything into your child’s mouth during a seizure – including medication – as there’s a slight chance they might bite their tongue.
Take your child to the nearest hospital or dial 999 for an ambulance if:
your child is having a fit for the first time
the seizure lasts longer than five minutes and shows no signs of stopping
you suspect the seizure is being caused by another serious illness – for example, meningitis
your child is having breathing difficulties
While it’s unlikely that there’s anything seriously wrong, it’s important to get your child checked.