What to do when your child has a fever and is convulsing

Febrile seizures are convulsions that can happen when a young child has a fever above 38°C. These seizures usually last for a few minutes and stop on their own.
Even though they may look serious, they usually do not cause any other health problems.
Febrile seizures are “provoked” seizures and do not mean that the child has epilepsy.

Epilepsy, on the other hand, is having unprovoked seizures that are caused by abnormal electrical signals in the brain.

What causes a febrile seizure?
Febrile seizures occur when there is a higher than normal body temperature usually from an infection.

Who can get a febrile seizure?
A child between the ages of 6 months and 5years (Commonest amongst toddlers aged 12-18months).

The likelihood of a kid having a febrile seizure increases if
– There is a family history of febrile seizures
– He/she has had one in the past.


Why do febrile seizures occur?

The cause of febrile seizures is unknown but is thought to be linked with how the young brain responds to sudden changes in body temperature.

What are the symptoms?
– Shaking/twitching all over
– Involuntary cry or moan
– Jerking of arms and legs
– Rolling of eyes
– Become unconscious
– Vomit or pee during a convulsion

What to do if your child has a febrile seizure
– Stay calm
– Gently place the child on a flat surface which he/she cannot roll over or fall from
– Place child on his/her side
– Remove any surrounding objects
– Loosen any tight clothing or clothing around the head or neck
– DO NOT put anything into child’s mouth
– Do not try to restrain the child
– Try to keep track of how long the seizure lasts.


Immediately the seizure is over, take the child to the hospital so the cause of the fever can be identified and treated appropriately.

What to do if your child has a fever
– Use lukewarm water and a towel to clean his/her body
– You can give paracetamol
– Take the child to the hospital!

This article was written by Dr Ifunanya Chukwuma, (Dr Frisky) follow her on twitter @friskyfunahttps://twitter.com/Friskyfuna

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