How do you prevent febrile seizures?
When a child has a fever many parents use drugs such as acetoaminofen or ibuprofen to reduce fever and for the child more comfortable, although there are no studies proving that this reduces the risk of a seizure.
One preventive measure would be to try to reduce the number of illnesses with fever, although this is not a practical possibility.
Daily use and prolonged oral anticonvulsants such as phenobarbital or valproate, to prevent febrile seizures is not recommended because of potential side effects and because their effectiveness in preventing such seizures is controversial.
Children especially prone to febrile seizures can be treated as often as they have a fever with the drug diazepam orally or rectally. Most children with fever seizures do not need to be treated with medication, but in some cases the doctor may decide that medicine given only when the child has a fever is the best alternative.
This medicine may reduce the risk of having another febrile seizure. Usually this is well tolerated, but occasionally cause drowsiness, lack of coordination or hyperactivity. Children vary greatly in susceptibility to these side effects.
What makes a child to be prone to recurrent febrile seizures?
Some factors that appear to increase the risk of children suffering from recurrent febrile seizures include: a first febrile seizure at an early age (less than 15 months), frequent fevers and having close relatives with history of febrile seizures.
If the seizure occurs immediately at the beginning of fever or when the temperature is relatively low, the risk of recurrence is higher.
A first episode of febrile seizures is not increased substantially over the risk of recurrent febrile seizures long or short.
In spite of that can be daunting for parents, the vast majority of febrile seizures are harmless. During a seizure, there is a small chance that the child would suffer damage if dropped or stalls for food or saliva in the mouth.
Providing appropriate first aid for seizures can help avoid these hazards (see the section entitled “What should be done by a child with febrile seizures.”) Read the rest of this entry »
What should be done by a child with febrile seizures?
Parents should stay calm and carefully observe the child. To prevent accidental injuries, the child should be placed on a protected surface such as the floor or ground.
The child should not be endured or restricted during the seizure. To prevent choking, the child should be placed on its side or stomach.
If possible, one parent must carefully remove any object in the child’s mouth. Parents should never put anything in your child’s mouth during a seizure. Objects placed in the mouth can break off and obstruct the breathing passage of the child.
If the seizure lasts more than 10 minutes, the child must be taken immediately to the nearest medical facility for treatment.
After the seizure, the child should be brought to your doctor to determine the source of the fever. This is especially urgent if the child shows symptoms of stiff neck, extreme lethargy or severe vomiting.
Before diagnosing febrile seizures in infants and children, doctors sometimes perform tests to ensure that seizures are not caused by something more than the fever itself. Read the rest of this entry »
What are febrile seizures?
Febrile seizures in infants and young children are seizures caused by fever. During febrile seizures, children often lose consciousness and extremecen, moving limbs on both sides.
Less commonly, the child becomes rigid or has contractions in a single body part, such as in an arm or leg, or on the left or right side only.
Most febrile seizures last a minute or two, although some may be as short as a few seconds and others may last for more than 15 minutes.
Most children with febrile seizures have rectal temperatures over 102 degrees F. Most febrile seizures occur during the first day of fever in children.
It is not considered that children prone to febrile seizures have epilepsy, since epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures that are precipitated by fever. Read the rest of this entry »