Is Your Child Suffering from Febrile Convulsion?

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Do not just dismiss your child's fever as something mild. Fevers can be accompanied by an episode of seizure. Since the tragic death of Jett Travolta, seizures are at the forefront of many parents' minds. While most seizures are not life-threatening, watching your child have one is terrifying.

Febrile fit, otherwise also known as febrile convulsion is the occurrences of seizure activity precipitated by high fever. This type of seizure is very common and usually affects children between ages of 6 months to 6 years. In most instances, febrile fits usually does not cause long term sequel to a child, but may recur on and off due to high fever. The fits usually settle within five minutes from is occurrence.

The management for febrile fits is the same as already discussed in last month’s article (see Epileptic Seizure Management at Home), except that you will also have to manage the fever. To prevent febrile fits from recurring, you will need to reduce the high body temperature as soon as possible by doing warm to cold tepid sponge to the whole body. Pay extra attention to all skin fold areas and also the forehead. Put folded soaked pad/cloth onto all these areas as it helps bring down the fever faster.

Many years ago, ice cold water was used to do tepid sponges, but nowadays, this practice is NOT ENCOURAGED as cold water will actually cause vasoconstriction of blood vessels and make the child feel uncomfortable due to non-stop shivering. DO NOT attempt to cover the child with many clothes or blankets. Just leave him or her with minimal light thin clothing but remember to switch off any air-conditioner. You can also leave the fan spinning at very minimal setting, but if your child is shivering, you may want to switch that off as well.

You will not be able to give fever medication orally during the seizure attack as the child will have decreased gag reflex (disabling him or her to swallow fully) during the seizure episode. It is also dangerous to do so as the child may get aspirated or choked as you administer this oral medication. It is therefore best to bring down the fever with the measures just discussed in the above. If however you do keep rectal medication suppositories (as prescribed by your doctor for your child) such as Paracetamol suppositories or Voltaren suppositories in stock at home, then you can insert one of these suppositories rectally right away to bring down the fever. This will quickly lower down the child’s temperature. If however, your child is known to be a sufferer from frequent seizures, and you have rectal valium stocks (again, as prescribed by your doctor), then insert one rectal valium to the child immediately to stop the seizure.

As the case involves a child, it is advisable to then bring the victim to the hospital for further investigation and treatment. These are some useful tips that you can use to describe your child’s condition to a medical professional.

1) What activity was the child engaged in at the time of the onset of seizure?
2) What was the first thing that the victim did during the attack?
3) Was there any occurrence of aura?
4) Where did the body movement or stiffness start?
5) Was there any conjugate gaze position?
6) Was the child’s eyes open, closed, deviated, flickering or eyes rolling upwards?
7) Did the child drool and vomit?
8) Note the type of movements in the part of the body involved.
9) Was there any presence of automated involuntary actions (such as lip smacking, repeated swallowing, lip-biting etc.)?
10) Did the child suffer from any injury?
11) Was there any urine incontinence?
12) Did the child turn blue (cyanosis), pale, clammy or perspired?
13) Did the child suffer from loss of consciousness and how long did it last?
14) How long was the seizure attack, and did the victim feel like sleeping after the episode?
15) Was there any other unusual behavior noted?

All these information can help a medical professional make an accurate diagnosis to formulate an effective further treatment for the child.

Related articles:
Epileptic Seizure Management at Home
Management of Gout and Hyperuricemia
Home Remedies for Insomnia: A Complete Guide

Author: Sudha Karuppiah

Copyright © 2012 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (AUGUST 2012)

4 Responses for “ Is Your Child Suffering from Febrile Convulsion?”

  1. Martha Hollinger says:

    It is scary to see a child having fits. At times, we parents just feel lost and so helpless as we do not usually expect such things to happen. This is a really useful article to fully equip us parents in getting ready for such possibility. Thanks for this good write-up and I love this site!

  2. Rowena says:

    Very good article for all parents!! Many people are still in the dark when it comes to handling fits especially when it involves children. Thumbs up!!

  3. Lisa B. says:

    Very good information especially the list of questionnaire. Good to know what to explain to the doctors when we bring our child for treatment.

  4. Harold says:

    Epilepsy kills??? SHOCKING!!!!!!


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