The specialist recalls that febrile seizures are quite common and are not usually a symptom of any serious illness. Febrile seizures can be very alarming for parents because they worry for their children. In this context, it is very important that they know how to act in case their little ones have one.
The pediatric neurologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, Pamela Muñoz, offers some recommendations in this regard:
- Stay calm for the duration of the event.
- Unwrap the child.
- Remove tight clothing, especially those that are around the head and neck.
- Do not give any medicine by mouth during the crisis or open it or put objects in it.
- Also, do not use force to mechanically contain the episode.
- Try to lower the fever with cloths or a warm bath.
The specialist points out that if the child is unconscious, they must be placed on their side (lateral decubitus) to avoid aspiration of saliva or vomit, clean up excess secretions. Do not perform resuscitation maneuvers and count the duration of the event. If it exceeds 5 minutes, seek immediate medical attention.
“Any minor who has suffered a febrile seizure should be evaluated by their doctor,” warns the pediatric neurologist after explaining that these crises occur when a child has a fever, that is, with a temperature greater than 38 degrees, it usually lasts a few minutes, subsides spontaneously and are more frequent between 12 and 18 months of age, although they affect children between 6 months and 5 years of age.
Take this information into account
- Febrile seizures are quite common and are not usually a symptom of any serious illness. The majority of children outgrow these symptoms by the age of 5 years. They are not considered a form of epilepsy. However, some minors, depending on various individual factors, are at greater risk of developing this neurological disease.
- There are risk factors that can predispose these crises: Family history of seizures or epilepsy, recurrent fever, premature children or with a history of prolonged hospitalization in the newborn unit, focal seizures, onset of these episodes before the first year of life and masculine sex.
- Loss of consciousness associated with a generalized movement (tonic posture) or localized in the context of fever are its most common symptoms. If your child has a febrile seizure, keep calm and don’t despair.
- However, if your child has any of these symptoms, call the emergency room or go to the nearest health center: If the condition lasts more than 5 minutes, if the child remains unconscious and does not react within the first 3 minutes of the condition, if he/she suffers from localized convulsions (only one half of the body), poor general condition, frequent vomiting, has more than 2 episodes within 24 hours.
- Pediatric controls are key not only for the specialist to assess the child’s physical and cognitive development, but also for parents to clear up any doubts they may have about how to act in different situations.
Dr. Pamela Muñoz
Pediatric neurologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma