Convulsion in children is characterized by seizure triggered by a sudden change in the body temperature, which also accompanied by a fever.
Convulsion in children is also called febrile convulsions. It is usually not harmful to the child, but it can be very alarming to witness. No matter how long the convulsions lasts, even up to an hour or more, it never causes any harm to the baby. Febrile convulsions cannot lead increased risk of epilepsy and cannot cause brain damage.
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Febrile convulsions mostly occurs between the ages of six months and six years. Most children who have a febrile convulsion will usually never experience a recurrence.
Treating a child’s fever with paracetamol or ibuprofen will not prevent a febrile convulsion.
Symptoms of febrile convulsions
The signs of symptoms of febrile convulsion includes:
- Child will lose consciousness
- Child’s muscles may stiffen or jerk
- Child’s face may go red or blue
- Uncontrolled rapid shaking
- Difficulty breathing
The convulsion may last for several minutes. The child will regain consciousness after the convulsion, but may probably remain sleepy or irritated subsequently.
A febrile convulsion occurs if your child’s temperature suddenly upsurges and a convulsion may occur before parents actually realize their child has a fever.
What should I do during a child’s convulsion?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Actually, there is nothing you can do to make the convulsion stop. However, you should note the following tips:
- Place your child on a soft surface, in such a way that they lie on their side or back.
- Observe what happens, so that you can describe it to the doctor later. If possible, record video footage of the convulsion to show the doctor.
- Note the duration that the convulsion lasts.
- Do not restrain your child.
- Avoid put any object in their mouth, including your finger or a spoon. Your child will not choke or swallow their tongue.
- Avoid putting a convulsing child in the bath to lower their temperature.
When to see a doctor
If your child’s febrile convulsion lasts less than five minutes, see your doctor immediately to find out the cause of the fever that triggered the convulsion. If the child refuses to wake up when the convulsion stops or if the child looks very sick at the end of the convulsion, consult a medical expert immediately.
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You can look after your child at home after a doctor has seen them for a febrile convulsion in most cases. Your child may be a little irritable for a short while, but this will pass.
Though most children will only ever have one febrile convulsion, but some children will have more than one seizure, usually during illnesses that cause a fever. Children who have febrile convulsions do not usually have any long-term health problems. They will normally grow out of them by the age of six.
Visit a pediatrician if your child has repeated long convulsions.
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