How to Deal with Fever Seizures in Children?
Windowofworld.com – Fever seizures in children are one of the conditions most parents fear. This situation is often associated with epilepsy and the risk of mental retardation as an effect. Is that right?
Fever seizures in children are thought to occur due to a drastic increase in body temperature. Generally caused by infection and is the response of the brain to fever which usually occurs in the first day of fever. In general, febrile seizures in children are experienced by babies aged 6 months to 5 years old.
Are Fever Seizures Dangerous?
Complex febrile seizures are often associated with an increased risk of epilepsy, as well as associated with sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC). However, this is not proven. In fact, most febrile seizures in children were not associated with an increased risk of death in childhood or adulthood.
Most cases of febrile seizures have no long-term effects. Simple febrile seizures will not cause brain damage, learning difficulties, or mental disorders. In addition, febrile seizures are also not an indication of epilepsy in children, which is the tendency for recurrent seizures due to abnormal electrical signals in the brain.
Recognizing the Characteristics of Fever Seizures in Children
The symptoms of a febrile seizure in children can range from mild, such as staring gaze, to severe, such as violent jerking of the body, or tight and stiff muscles.
In general, during a febrile seizure, children experience the following conditions:
- Loss of consciousness and sweating.
- His hands and feet were cramped.
- High fever, more than 380C.
- Sometimes foam comes out of his mouth or vomits.
- His eyes will sometimes turn upside down.
- After subsiding, look sleepy and fall asleep.
Based on the duration, febrile seizures can be categorized as follows:
1. Simple febrile seizure
It is most common, with seizures lasting from a few seconds to less than 15 minutes. Seizures that occur in all parts of the body will not recur within a 24 hour period.
2. Complex febrile seizures
Occurs for more than 15 minutes in any part of the body and can recur within 24 hours.
Causes of Fever Seizures
The exact cause of febrile seizures is unknown. But in most cases, febrile seizures are closely related to high fever due to flu virus infection, ear infection, chickenpox, or tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils).
In addition, febrile seizures in children are also relatively common after immunization, such as DPT / Td (Diphteri-Pertussis-Tetanus / vaccine replication), and MMR (Mumps-Measles-Rubella). However, it is not the vaccine that causes febrile seizures, but because of the fever experienced by the child.
Genetic factors also increase the likelihood of developing febrile seizures. One in three children who have complex febrile seizures have family members who have also had febrile seizures.
After they occur once, they may recur, especially if:
- There are close family members who have a history of febrile seizures.
- The first febrile seizure occurs before the child is 1 year old.
- Children have seizures even though their body temperature during fever is not very high.
- The period between the child starting to have a fever and the time to seizure is relatively short.
The good news is, almost all children can recover to normal after experiencing a febrile seizure.
How to handle it?
It is important to remain calm when dealing with febrile seizures in children. In general, seizures occur early in the child’s fever. Giving fever-reducing drugs to him, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, is only useful for making children more comfortable with a body temperature that is not too high, but does not prevent the onset of febrile seizures themselves.
Avoid giving aspirin because it can lead to the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome in some children and can lead to death. The medicine diazepam, lorazepam, and clonazepam may be prescribed by the doctor if the child has complex febrile seizures or recurrent seizures.
If your child’s febrile seizure occurs a second time while you have not been to the hospital or to the doctor:
- Don’t hold your child’s convulsive movements. However, place it on a safe surface such as a carpet on the floor.
- To avoid choking, remove it immediately if there is anything in his mouth when he has a seizure. Do not put any form of medicine in his mouth while the child has a seizure.
- To prevent him from swallowing his own vomit, place him on his side, not on his back, with one arm under his head and also tilted to one side.
- Calculate the duration of febrile seizures. Call an ambulance or immediately take it to the emergency room (IGD) if the seizure lasts more than 10 minutes.
- Stay close to him to calm him down.
- Remove sharp or dangerous objects from around it.
- Loosen the clothes.
To diagnose the cause of a febrile seizure, the doctor will perform several tests, including urine tests, blood tests, or spinal fluid (lumbar puncture) to find out if there is a central nervous system infection, such as meningitis.
Doctors may order an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity, if the child has complex febrile seizures. In addition, if the spasm occurs on only one side of the body, your doctor may recommend an MRI exam. If the seizure is accompanied by a serious infection, especially if the source of the infection has not been detected, your little one may need to be hospitalized for further observation.
Fever seizures in children should be checked by a doctor immediately. Especially febrile seizures for more than 10 minutes, accompanied by symptoms of shortness of breath, stiff neck, vomiting, and the child looks very drowsy.