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What to do if the child has a febrile seizure?

What to do if the child has a febrile seizure?


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Parents should consider these points in case of febrile seizures

Children suffer from fever relatively often, and it is not uncommon for this to reach alarming heights. A particularly frightening experience for parents is so-called febrile seizures, which according to the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) affect at least two to five percent of children at least once. An appearance between the ages of half a year and five years is typical. Dr. explains how parents react correctly Ulrich Fegeler in a current press release from the BVKJ.

According to Dr. A febrile seizure usually lasts only seconds to minutes. Affected children roll their eyes, lose consciousness and tense the whole body, start to twitch or their body relaxes, the pediatrician continues. Your skin color will turn pale and the area around your lips may turn blue. "If parents observe such an attack for the first time, it can be very threatening," emphasizes the expert. Nevertheless, it was important to keep calm and to call the emergency doctor immediately at 112. In addition, the expert has a few more tips on which measures to take and which should be avoided.

Usually febrile seizures do not pose any health consequences

The BVKJ expert explains that these are usually so-called simple febrile seizures, which occur in young children between the ages of six months and five years. The febrile seizure usually lasts only a few seconds to a maximum of 15 minutes and after one or two hours a child has generally fully recovered from the event. Such febrile seizures remain, according to Dr. Fegeler for little patients without any health or other consequences.

Complicated febrile seizuresIn contrast, there are so-called complicated febrile seizures, which are much rarer and can also occur in children under the age of six months or in children over the age of five. The cramps often last longer than 15 minutes and those affected are at increased risk of further health problems.

Causes of febrile seizures

According to the BVKJ, febrile seizures only threaten above a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and the rate of temperature rise also seems to play a role in their occurrence. Occasionally, however, the cramps are also noted when the fever drops. The main causes of simple febrile seizures are virus-related gastrointestinal infections or upper respiratory tract infections. However, “febrile convulsions can also occur with real flu (influenza) or the so-called 3-day fever (human herpes virus type 6)”.

Very rarely serious illnesses the cause

According to the expert, febrile seizures are very rarely observed up to 24 hours after the first or second six-fold vaccination and after the first measles, mumps and rubella vaccination (after about 8 to 14 days). In addition, febrile seizures can occur frequently in some families, which suggests a genetic predisposition. Only in extremely rare cases is a more serious illness such as meningitis behind the febrile seizures. "With two out of three children, the febrile seizure remains a unique event," said Dr. Fegeler.

Emergency medication and its use

In particular, if febrile seizures are known in the family, it may be advisable to give parents an emergency medication and explain their use to them, emphasizes Dr. Fegeler. However, parents must also be told that an early lowering of fever does not reduce the risk of recurrence for another febrile seizure. This point should be discussed in detail in order to avoid compulsive measurement of body temperature and "over-therapy" with antipyretic preparations. When the seizure is over, the child should be placed in a stable side position so that saliva and possibly vomit cannot block the airways. "Under no circumstances should they shake the child," said Dr. Fegeler.

Medical checks are always required

Given the risk of serious illnesses, a child must always be examined by a doctor after a febrile seizure and, in principle, a child aged up to about one and a half years after the first onset of a febrile seizure should be treated, the expert emphasizes. Important factors for the medical evaluation are how long the attack lasted and which parts of the body were affected and in what order. (fp)

Author and source information



Video: How to treat a baby suffering a febrile seizure #FirstAid #PowerOfKindness (November 2022).