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Convulsion, fits, or seizures, which are states of altered consciousness, can vary in severity. Our focus shall be on Febrile Convulsions and Seizures, which occur as a result of fever of a
temperature higher than 38°c, and these may come with an infection.
With the rise in temperature, there is an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain.
Febrile convulsions are common and occur in about 4% of children
between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, and two thirds of such cases will only ever have one fit.
Febrile Convulsions occur mostly
when a child is less than 3 years old. When children have their first
febrile convulsion before the age of 1 year, they have a higher risk of having recurrent febrile convulsion. This type of convulsion runs in families, and affects boys more than girls.
SYMPTOMS OF GENERAL CONVULSION
1. The child’s body stiffens.
2. The child becomes unconscious.
3. He/she jerks with the eyes rolling.
4. The child may sleep deeply for about an hour afterwards.
Most cases of convulsion do not last longer than several minutes.
Convulsions could affect only one part of the body (including the brain), or the whole body and brain.
Some convulsions only appear as an absence from activities. The child
may just stare for a few seconds, and resume thereafter whatever he/she was doing as if nothing happened.
The symptoms of febrile convulsion are similar to those of general
convulsion. However, the episode lasts less than 5 minutes, after
which the child recovers. He/she might just be drowsy for about an hour afterwards.
The child may also have symptoms of the cause of the fever, such as runny nose, cough. In some cases, the febrile seizure could be associated with meningitis, or even epilepsi.
Therefore take the child to see the doctor, in all cases of febrile
seizures, to enable appropriate tests to be carried out to ascertain what is responsible for the seizure.
When such convulsions occur,
observe the child’s experience, and time it, while you arrange to take
the child to hospital. Although these experiences are frightening, they do not resort in death, and do not resort in brain damage either.
When your child has temperature, usually of over 38°c (very high fever), quickly administer children’s Paracetamol, and take off his/her
clothes, until the fever abates.
Should the fever persist, bathe the
child in cold water, place him/her under the fan to help reduce the
temperature, in order to prevent the child convulsing.
The treatment to be administered to the child will be determined by the result of the tests carried out by the doctor.
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