Answer by Fi Ramos of Act2Care First Aid
What is a febrile seizure?
Febrile seizures are a surprisingly common childhood condition, affecting 1 in 20 children, usually between 6 months – to 3 yrs.
During a seizure, the child’s body will go stiff, twitches and they are usually unresponsive. They will have pale, hot flushed skin and their eyes may roll upwards. The seizure may last up to 5 minutes and can be very frightening for parents.
What causes this?
Seizures are linked to young children being unable to regulate their own body temperature very well.
If their temperature gets too high (above 38c) it may trigger a seizure. This is usually as a result of a fever or infection, but can also be caused by children overheating in car seats, or wearing too many layers going from outside to inside.
What should I do?
As parents, the key is to remain as calm and rational as possible. What would you do if you were hot and had a fever? Thinking about it logically will help knowing what to do when your child is experiencing a febrile seizure.
Quickly assess the surrounding area. Protect your child from anything hard or dangerous, but do not try to stop them from having convulsions (e.g. holding them down).
Do not put anything in their mouth (e.g. medicine).
Cool them down by removing additional layers of clothing and cool their room, by opening a window.
If you can, keep a note of how long the seizure lasts.
Place them in the recovery position on their side once the seizure has ended. Afterwards they may want to sleep for several hours.
Seizures are generally not harmful, but it is important to have your baby or child checked by a medical professional, as this could also be a sign of a condition that is more serious. If the seizure lasts beyond 5 minutes and shows no signs of stopping, or if your child is having breathing difficulties, dial 999 for an ambulance. Monitor their breathing and level of response while waiting for the ambulance.
Infant First Aid Courses
At Apparently Kids, we know that being a new parent can be exciting, but also nerve-wracking. We believe that infant specific first aid courses should be a ‘must’ for any expectant parent.
As Fi says ‘Infant First Aid courses are not about scaring parents, but giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence to know how to react and manage any situation’.