Posted by NormHayes | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 01-06-2012
My wife and I attended pre-natal, birthing and first time parents classes and they all prepared us for life with a little person. It seems like they had prepared us for everything until a year ago (last May) when my daughter had her first of 3 febrile seizures. It was the most traumatic experience of my life. Helpless and UNINFORMED we contacted 911 whom were excellent in not only calming us down but reassuring us that these are a rather common occurance amongst infants/toddlers. The hospital staff were great and they helped us recognize the signs that ultimately led to seizures #2 and #3. (South County Fire and Sherriff’s are AWESOME)
I’m primarily writing this blog to inform as many people as possible of what febrile seizures are, what they look like, what to do, etc. After my daughter had hers we came home and read as much as we could find so we could try to understand what the hell just happened. I kept asking myself the same question over and over again “How can I prevent this from happening?” Preventive measures can be taken to try and REDUCE the chances but when a foreign bacteria (cold/flu) enters our bodies the defense mechanism is to fight them off which sometimes leads to a fever (our blood cells getting pissed). We happen to have a very high energy little girl who we can now easily detect if she doesn’t feel good. (Remember lots of fluids..water, pedialyte, etc.)
What are febrile seizures?
Febrile seizures are convulsions brought on by a fever in infants or small children. During a febrile seizure, a child often loses consciousness and shakes, moving limbs on both sides of the body. Less commonly, the child becomes rigid or has twitches in only a portion of the body, such as an arm or a leg, or on the right or the left side only. Most febrile seizures last a minute or two, although some can be as brief as a few seconds while others last for more than 15 minutes.
The majority of children with febrile seizures have rectal temperatures greater than 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Most febrile seizures occur during the first day of a child’s fever. Children prone to febrile seizures are not considered to have epilepsy, since epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures that are not triggered by fever. (National Institute of Nuerological Disorders)
How common are they?
Approximately one in every 25 children will have at least one febrile seizure, and more than one-third of these children will have additional febrile seizures before they outgrow the tendency to have them. Febrile seizures usually occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years and are particularly common in toddlers. Children rarely develop their first febrile seizure before the age of 6 months or after 3 years of age. The older a child is when the first febrile seizure occurs, the less likely that child is to have more. (National Institute of Nuerological Disorders)
What should be done for a child having a febrile seizure?
Seizures are frightening, but it is important that parents and caregivers stay calm and carefully observe the child. To prevent accidental injury, the child should be placed on a protected surface such as the floor or ground. The child should not be held or restrained during a convulsion. To prevent choking, the child should be placed on his or her side or stomach. When possible, gently remove any objects from the child’s mouth. Never place anything in the child’s mouth during a convulsion. Objects placed in the mouth can be broken and obstruct the child’s airway. Look at your watch when the seizure starts. If the seizure lasts 10 minutes, the child should be taken immediately to the nearest medical facility. Once the seizure has ended, the child should be taken to his or her doctor to check for the source of the fever. This is especially urgent if the child shows symptoms of stiff neck, extreme lethargy, or abundant vomiting. (National Institute of Nuerological Disorders)
I’m sure many people reading this blog on PontheP will be familiar with the term and may even know someone (or have had a child) whom has had a febrile seizure. For those of you unfamiliar with the term don’t be scared…be informed and prepared! My wife and I don’t mess around with fever’s or even the slightest indication that our daughter doesn’t feel well. Children’s Tylenol and Motrin……..lifesavers!