CPR First Aid

What is a Febrile Convulsion?

What is a Febrile Convulsion

Multiple government health websites such as the Perth Children’s Hospital defines a febrile convulsion as seizures that result from a high fever. It occurs in children 6 months to 6 years old and may last for a few seconds or up to 15 minutes. Resources state that these are not harmful to children but may be recurring, and the symptoms may frighten guardians. So, knowing the symptoms, first aid, and further treatments would be helpful. Information on all of these are found below. 

What is a Febrile Convulsion?

A febrile convulsion is a seizure or fit that occurs after a high fever that may come with drowsiness and is common in kids. In comparison to what some parents may think about it, it is not epilepsy and does not cause brain damage. Unfortunately, it is not predictable, and children who have had an episode are more likely to experience it again. Around 1 in every 20 children has at least one febrile convulsion.

A febrile convulsion is a seizure or fit that occurs after a high fever that may come with drowsiness and is common in kids. In comparison to what some parents may think about it, it is not epilepsy and does not cause brain damage. Unfortunately, it is not predictable, and children who have had an episode are more likely to experience it again.

What is the Difference Between a Febrile Convulsion and Epilepsy?

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne explains that a febrile convulsion occurs only with fever. If seizures occur repeatedly even if a child’s body temperature is normal, it may indicate epilepsy. 

Recurring febrile convulsions does not also mean a child has a risk of developing epilepsy. It would be best to talk to your doctor if you still have questions.

What is an Epilepsy?

Epilepsy Action Australia publishes a wide of information about this neurological disorder on its website. It leads to recurring seizures without fever and the cause may be head trauma, stroke, infections, abnormalities in the brain, or genetics. There are also triggers including lack of sleep, missed medication, fatigue, stress, hormonal changes, and illness. 

What is the First Aid for Epilepsy?

If you see someone having a tonic-clonic (convulsive) seizure, do the following.

  • Stay with them and time the seizure
  • Protect their head from any possible causes of injury
  • Place them in a recovery position once the seizure stops
  • Monitor their breathing 
  • Reassure them until they recover

Same as a febrile convulsion, if the seizure lasts for 5 minutes, call 000. 

What is the Treatment for Epilepsy?

Medications, surgery, stimulations, and certain diet changes may help treat epilepsy.

What is the Febrile Temperature?

According to the USA’s National Institutes of Health, febrile convulsions may occur for body temperatures greater than 100.4 °F (38 °C). The fever is usually due to a viral illness or bacterial infection.

What is the First Aid for Fever?

If there is a fever, it means that the body is fighting some infection, so it does not always need treatment. But, if your child also suffers from pain, ask a pharmacist about liquid paracetamol or ibuprofen as a first aid. However, these will not prevent a febrile convulsion.

What are the Febrile Convulsion Symptoms?

Below are the febrile convulsion symptoms.

  • Unconsiousness
  • The arms and legs are twitching 
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Paleness or bluishness
  • Eye rolling

It may take your child up to 15 minutes to wake up and may be irritable once they do.

It may take your child up to 15 minutes to wake up and may be irritable once they do.

What is the First Aid for Febrile Convulsion?

Make sure that your child is in a safe space while they are having a febrile seizure and track the time.

  • Stay calm and don’t panic
  • Place your child on the floor and remove any possible harmful objects around them
  • Do not put anything into their mouth, slap them, or restrain them

If a seizure lasts for 5 minutes, call 000 for an ambulance. If not, place them in a recovery position and bring them to a doctor. Many parents find it difficult to apply these responses as a febrile convulsion scares them. First aid training may help which lets parents and guardians use mannequins and practice the steps. There are many courses available but the childcare first aid course may be ideal for those with kids.

What are the Possible Complications of Long Febrile Convulsions?

A doctor may be able to identify the possible cause of seizures that last for 5 minutes and the complications of it. He/she may also prescribe a medicine called Midazolam which is a febrile convulsion treatment for seizures that last for 5 minutes.

​How to Prevent Febrile Seizures?

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent febrile seizures. The best that you can do is prepare if it happens to your child. Stay calm and perform the above-mentioned first aid steps. 

Conclusion

A febrile convulsion is a seizure or a fit that a high fever triggers and may come with drowsiness. It is common in kids from 6 months to 6 years old. It is not epilepsy nor is a risk factor for it. Aside from twitching, symptoms may include unconsciousness, foaming at the mouth, and paleness. During a fit, make sure that a child is safe from any possible injuries and place them in a recovery position after a seizure. Call 000 if it lasts for 5 minutes or see a doctor for additional information. Seizures may be concerning and there is no way to prevent them. It would be best to stay calm during an episode and prepare for the first aid response. 

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