Febrile Seizure (also known as febrile convulsions or fever fit) is a seizure generally associated with high grade fever but without any serious health issues. It is most common between children age 6 months – 3 years. Most of the seizures happens for less than the 5 minutes and the child is completely back to normal within sixty minutes of the event.
But it happens very fast, before anyone realizes, what is happening the child become stiff and develop jerky movements or twitching of his limbs.It also includes eye rolling, rigid (stiff) limbs, or twitching on only one side or a portion of the body, such as an arm or a leg. Sometimes during a febrile seizure, a child may lose consciousness but will not noticeably shake or move.It usually stops by the time doctor is contacted and they do not recur during the course of the fever.
Though it looks really frightening for the parents but it usually does not have any long term health problems. It should not be confused with Epilepsy which is characterized by recurring seizures that are not triggered by fever.
Things to do in case of Febrile Seizure
- Do not panic instead take a deep breath and try to stay calm.
- Place the child on his back on the bed or any flat surface. Also make sure that there is nothing nearby that can be struck by him.
- Never restrain the child to stop the convulsions because seizure is a violent and forceful event, and parent injury is a possibility. Also do not pout any water or any kind of liquid on his face.
- Make no attempt to forcibly open his mouth to insert a spoon or anything as it can lead to breaking of teeth or get fingers bitten.
- In a convulsing or unconscious child , paracetamol or any medicine can be given through rectal route.
- If the convulsions are prolonged for more than 10 minutes or child is getting repeated convulsions then he should be immediately taken to the nearest hospital.This is especially urgent if the child shows symptoms of stiff neck, extreme lethargy, or abundant vomiting, which may be signs of meningitis, an infection over the brain surface.
When the child is known to suffer from febrile convulsions, the mother should be vigilant to give him paracetamol or any medicine recommended by the doctor to bring down the fever at the earliest. Remember that febrile convulsions do not cause any damage to the brain and do not occur after the age of 5-6 years.