Fever Seizures in Children and How to Overcome It

Fever Seizures in Children and How to Overcome It: Febrile seizures in children are one of the most feared conditions for parents. This situation is often associated with epilepsy and the risk of mental retardation as an effect. Is that right?

Febrile seizures in children are thought to occur due to a drastic increase in body temperature. Generally caused by infection and is a response from the brain to fever that usually occurs on the first day of fever. In general, febrile seizures in children are experienced by infants aged 6 months to 5 years old children.
Fever Seizures in Children and How to Overcome It
Fever Seizures in Children and How to Overcome It
Complex febrile seizures are often associated with an increased risk of epilepsy, also associated with sudden unexplained death in childhood / SUDC. But, this is not proven. In fact, most febrile seizures in children do not have an association with an increased risk of death in childhood or adulthood.

Most cases of febrile seizures do not have 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, namely the tendency of recurrent seizures due to abnormal electrical signals in the brain.

Recognizing the Characteristics of Fever Seizures in Children
Symptoms of febrile seizures in children can vary, ranging from mild ones, such as staring with glares, to heavy ones, such as body movements jerking violently, or muscles becoming taut and stiff.

In general, when a febrile seizure, the child experiences the following conditions:
  • Lost consciousness and sweating.
  • His arms and legs were spasm.
  • High fever, more than 380C.
  • Sometimes foam comes out of his mouth or vomits.
  • His eyes will sometimes turn upside down.
  • After subsiding, looked sleepy and fell asleep.

Based on the duration, febrile seizures can be categorized as follows:

1. Simple febrile seizures
Most commonly, with a seizure duration of several seconds to less than 15 minutes. Seizures that occur in all parts of the body will not be repeated in a 24 hour period.

2. Complex febrile seizures
It occurs more than 15 minutes in one part of the body and can be repeated in 24 hours.

Causes of Fever Seizures
The true cause of febrile seizures is unknown. But in most cases, febrile seizures are closely related to high fever due to flu virus infection, ear infections, 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 / repeat vaccine), and MMR (Mumps-Measles-Rubella). However, it is not a vaccine that is the cause of febrile seizures, but because of fever experienced by children.

Genetic factors also increase the tendency for febrile seizures. One in three children who have complex febrile seizures have family members who have also experienced febrile seizures.

After a single occurrence, febrile seizures can recur, especially if:
  • There are close family members who have a history of febrile seizures.
  • Fever seizures occur first before a 1 year old child.
  • Children experience seizures even though their body temperature when the fever is not so high.
  • The period between children starts a fever with a short seizure time.

The good news, almost all children can recover as before after experiencing febrile seizures.

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 childhood fever. Giving febrifuge to him, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, is only useful in making the child more comfortable with a body temperature that is not too high, but does not prevent the occurrence of febrile seizures themselves.

Avoid giving aspirin because it can risk triggering Reye's syndrome in some children and can lead to death. Medications for diazepam, lorazepam and clonazepam can be prescribed by a doctor if the child has complex febrile seizures or recurrent seizures.

If a febrile seizure occurs in the child the second time when you are not yet in the hospital or to the doctor:
  • Don't hold your child's seizures. But place it on a safe surface like on a carpet on the floor.
  • To avoid choking, immediately remove it if there is something in his mouth when he has a seizure. Do not put the drug in any form in his mouth when the child is having a seizure.
  • To prevent her from swallowing her own vomit, place it sideways, not on her back, with one arm under her head which is also tilted to one side.
  • Calculate the duration of febrile seizures. Call an ambulance or take it immediately to the emergency room (ED) if the seizure occurs more than 10 minutes.
  • Stay nearby to calm him down.
  • Move sharp or dangerous objects from the surroundings.
  • Loosen the clothes.

To diagnose the cause of a febrile seizure, the doctor will do a number of tests, including a urine test, blood test, or spinal fluid examination (lumbar puncture) to find out if a central nervous system infection has occurred, such as meningitis.

The doctor may recommend an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity, if the child has a complex febrile seizure. In addition, if the seizures only occur on one side of the body, then it is likely that the doctor will recommend an MRI examination. If the seizure is accompanied by a serious infection, especially since the source of infection has not been detected, the Little One may need to be hospitalized for further observation.

Febrile seizures in children should be immediately consulted by a doctor. Especially febrile seizures of more than 10 minutes, accompanied by symptoms of shortness of breath, stiff neck, vomiting, and the child looks very sleepy.
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