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What To Do If A Child Has Febrile Seizures

What To Do If A Child Has Febrile Seizures

In kids aged 6 months to 6 years, convulsions or seizures (sometimes called fits) may happen because their young brain cannot cope up with heightened temperature. Called febrile seizures, these fits are NOT epilepsy. Short convulsions do not damage the brain. In fact, reports say even long fits almost never cause harm. What are the signs and symptoms of seizures, and what convulsions first aid steps should parents perform if their child experiences fits?

What Do Convulsions Look Like?

Most people think that seizures only involve involuntary movements of the limbs, but experts say it has many forms. A baby or child may be having a seizure if he/she:

  • Stares intently and is not responding to anyone
  • Has uncontrollable muscle spasms or twitching
  • Experiences uncontrolled peeing or pooping
  • Loses consciousness
  • Has rolled back or squinting eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling at the mouth
  • Holds their breath with red neck and face

For febrile seizures, these symptoms occur with high fever.

Convulsions First Aid Steps

If your child has febrile seizures, here are the convulsions first aid steps to take:

1. Call for help and check the time

If there’s another person in the vicinity, please ask them to call for medical help. If you’re alone with the child, you can call after securing your child’s safety.

Don’t forget to check the time as well. This is so you can time how long the fit lasts.

2. Secure your child’s position and environment

Place your child gently on the floor (to avoid falls) and remove objects near him or her. To prevent choking on spit or vomit, lay them on their side – don’t force it, though, if they are still shaking.

Also, loosen their clothing, particularly in the neck area. You may also place rolled blankets or pillows around them (especially near the head), so they won’t hurt themselves.

3. Make sure their breathing is okay

Next, check that your child is breathing fine. Do not put anything in their mouth (even a bundled cloth) as this might only block their airway. Also, do not force open their mouth; it might cause injuries. Remember: Your child will not swallow their tongue.

Important:

DO NOT give your child anything to drink or eat while having a fit. This can cause choking. Likewise, please DO NOT restrain them to stop the convulsions.

4. Help them cool down

The next convulsions first aid step is to help your child cool down. Note that you may have to wait until the seizures stop before doing it. Remove their outer clothing and perform a sponge bath.

Don’t forget to note down how long the seizures lasted and any other symptoms you have noticed.

5. Stay with your child

Your little one may be tired and sleepy after the fit. Let them rest and stay with them until they are well and responsive. Then, call for help or bring them to the doctor.

Seek immediate help if your child…

  • Experiences back-to-back seizures with no rest in between
  • Has seizures lasting for more than 5 minutes
  • Doesn’t wake up or become responsive after a fit
  • Has un underlying medical condition, like diabetes
  • Suffers an injury during the convulsion
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Developed the seizure while in the water

Key Takeaways

Children aged 6 months to 6 years may experience seizures due to high temperature. When a child has febrile seizures, it’s important to ensure their safety by not forcing them to stop shaking, removing objects around them, ensuring that their airway remains open, and timing how long the fit lasts.
After performing these convulsions first aid steps, bring your child to the doctor and report the duration of the fit as well as other symptoms you might have noticed.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 4 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD