Febrile Seizures in Children19 September 2022
Febrile seizures are seizures that occur in children due to high increase in body temperature (fever).
Febrile seizures are seizures that occur in children due to high increase in body temperature (fever). This conditiona can occur in children aged 6 months to 5 years, although it is most common in children aged 12-18 months. However, not all children with high fever will experience febrile seizures, only a small proportion of children would have it.
Children who are less than one year old when they first experience a febrile seizure have an approximately 50% risk of recurrence. Meanwhile, children over the age of one year will have a 30% risk of having recurrence febrile seizures.
When having a febrile seizure, the child’s body usually becomes stiff, with some convulsion/twitches, and their eyes will roll or widen. In some cases, they may also experience respiratory problems, change of skin color, vomiting, urinating uncontrollably, and not responding for a while or passing out.
The exact cause of febrile seizures is not known. However, febrile seizures are generally associated with high fever due to infection or post-immunization. Genetic factor is one of the factors that can increase the risk of febrile seizures in children.
Handling Fever Seizures in Children
Seizures usually last only for about a few minutes. There are rare instances where seizures last for 15 minutes. In complex febrile seizures, seizures may happen more than once within 24-hour period.
When your child is having febrile seizure, you can do the following:
• Keep calm and don’t panic so that you can take proper action.
• When in seizure, children may hit objects around them. Therefore, ensure to put hard or sharp objects away from them.
• Loosen any items that may constrict them, such as clothing, or other objects around their head and neck.
• Place your child on the floor or bed. This is done so that their body does not bend.
• Turn your child's head to the side, so that saliva or vomit can come out of the mouth and avoid them from choking.
There are some things that you should not do when your child has a febrile seizure, such as:
• Holding or constrict your child during the seizure
• Putting anything in your child's mouth
• Bathing children with cold water
You can call the doctor when your child's febrile seizures have stopped. The doctor will examine and treat the cause of the fever, to prevent further febrile seizures. Medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help bring down a fever.
Please be aware and contact your doctor immediately if the seizures do not stop within 5 minutes, the child has difficulty breathing, their body turns blue, they do not respond normally, and the seizures only involve some parts of the body.
Febrile seizures may look scary. But in most cases, febrile seizures can stop without any treatment. Febrile seizures are generally harmless as they generally do not cause long-term health problems.
If your child has a fever, take precautions to prevent febrile seizures. You can do this by giving fever-reducing drugs containing paracetamol as first aid. If you feel worried, consult the condition of the child to the doctor.