A convulsion is a fit or seizure that happens as a result of fever, and that is a temperature higher than 38°C. It is also known as Febrile Convulsion. The rapid rise in temperature causes an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain even in children with no neurological disorder. A febrile convulsion, although a seizure, is not epilepsy. It is quite a common occurrence in children as 1 in 30 children have a febrile convulsion at one time or another and it is usually between the ages of six months and six years.
It can be quite alarming and very frightening to see your child having a febrile convulsion (especially if you have never seen or experienced it before), but children usually recover completely from febrile convulsions without any long-term problems nor brain damage. Inasmuch as febrile convulsions are harmless and do not require actual treatments, it is important to keep an eye on the child. The chance of a child having a febrile convulsion is high if it runs in the family.
Identifying a Febrile Convulsion
Usually, a child having a febrile convulsion;
- jerks or shakes all over
- loses consciousness
- experiences shallow breathing
- the eyes rolled to the back of the head.
Sometimes, the child may get very stiff or twitch in just one area of the body and arch his/her back then regain consciousness once the fit is over.
If your child experiences a fit, here are tips on what to do:
- Keep your cool and do not panic.
- Ensure the child’s safety by placing him/her on the floor and get rid any object close by.
- Do not put anything into your child’s mouth (as it is common for parents to put iron spoon in the child’s mouth)
- Watch exactly what happens so you can describe for the pediatrician later. Do not shake or hit the child.
- Don’t restrain your child.
- Once the convulsion has stopped, roll your child onto their side. This position is known as the recovery position to keep the child’s airway open.
- Keep track of the start and stop times.
- Once the fit stops, get the child to the hospital to get checked.
- Call an ambulance or get the child to the hospital if the fit lasts longer than five minutes or the child isn’t breathing properly.
When to See A Doctor
It is important to see a pediatrician as soon as possible after your child’s first febrile convulsion, even if it lasts only a few seconds. Even if your child has had a convulsion before and your pediatrician has told you what to do, you should still call your pediatrician. Seeing a doctor helps to get the child checked out so as to identify and treat the underlying cause of fever that triggered the convulsion.
At Olan Medical Center we believe every patient deserves the best quality treatment and we offer medical services that are detailed, committed, affordable, compassionate and personalized.
The information contained in this topic is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only.