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Friday, 25 January 2019

Seizures or Convulsions: How to Treat and Prevent Febrile Convulsions in Children at Home

Convulsion is usually a sudden uncontrollable attack or violent uncontrollable contractions of muscles. Experts say convulsions or seizures occur due to sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain - which brings about changes in an individual’s consciousness.They also say this can well be managed at home.
Sudden high temperatures should be watched (Photo: Google images)

When a child has convulsion he is likely to become stiff; sometimes they may begin to jerk, and then become unconscious. The eyes are likely to roll back and go into the head. Convulsions which are as well referred to as fits, seizures or epileptic attacks, can be caused by a number of factors. Amongst the different types of seizures are the two very important ones – epileptic seizure and febrile seizure. But we shall be dealing more with Febrile Seizures in this article.
Febrile seizures, also referred to as convulsions are febrile reactions caused by an allergen; this type of reaction can occur when a young child is down with a fever that is reading above 38°C (100.4°F). Thus when a child is febrile, it means he is having a feverish condition. Usually when the child begins to convulse as a result (of a sudden rise in temperature), the seizure will go on just for a few minutes and then cease on their own, and the fever is also likely to go on for some time.

Be calm at all times (Photo: Google images)

According to medical experts at the world renowned Mayo Clinic, “Febrile seizures occur in children with normal development; …most febrile seizures stop on their own within a couple of minutes.” In as much as convulsions due to feverish condition can appear serious, it is bound to stop even if it is not treated, and it’s not also going to trigger any other health issues. Some children might be caused to fall asleep after having a seizure while in some others the case may be different, without any long term reactions.
What You Can Do During a Convulsion                                                                       Ensure first of all that you are calm and do not panic. Then lay the child on a soft surface; make him lie on his side to prevent choking. Then observe carefully to know precisely what takes place. This is to enable you describe it to your doctor afterwards. You may as well make use of a smartphone or camera to take a video of the seizure, if you can. But if the convulsion persists for a ‘long’ time such as more than 5 minutes, take your child to see the doctor without much waste of time.
But very importantly, you can help to reduce the temperature and make the kid feel a little more comfortable by removing any extra clothing on him especially around the head and neck areas.
In addition to the above measures, ensure to remove any nearby objects that might lead to injury to the child, while looking out to see if the child has difficulty breathing or if the face is changing colour.
Be aware of the vital signs (Photo: Google images)

And in a case whereby the convulsion goes on beyond 5 minutes, or his colour is bluish, you must ensure to see your doctor because it could very well be more serious than you think. Mayo Clinic experts add however, that, “a hospital stay isn't usually necessary for simple febrile seizures.” Also, experts say it is equally vital that you are aware of the things to avoid when your child has a convulsion due to a fever or febrile convulsion or seizure:

  • Avoid the temptation to hold or restrain the convulsing child.
  • Avoid inserting anything in your child's mouth, as many Nigerians are wont to do the opposite.
  • Avoid administering any ‘anti-fever’ medicine to your child.
  • Avoid dipping the young child in cool or lukewarm water in a bid to calm his temperature.
At the end of the entire scenario, you should ensure your doctor sees the child for expert attention to ascertain the reason(s) behind the fever. It is probable that no other treatment might be required
Prevention                                                                                                                                In order to prevent convulsions that are not due to fever however, would rely so much on the diagnosis of what could have been responsible for the seizures. Experts note also that there is no reason to give your child any medicine for the sake of attacking the seizure when the child develops a fever. This is for the reason that a good number of days would be needed before the drug can begin to gather enough strength to avert convulsions.

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