Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Febrile seizures: Life-saving information

Read Stephanella's February 22, 2006 post, "The Longest Night," the traumatic story of how she almost lost her four-year-old son Raphael to a seizure cause by a high fever, and post your best wishes for Rapha's recovery.

Here's the essential information about febrile seizures, copied from the aforementioned post:

1. 2% of children under age 5 experience febrile seizures. The general rule is one seizure per bout of illness; More frequent seizures may signal a more serious condition. Normal range seizures last for several minutes max.

2. If a child is seizing, ensure his/her head and body are safe from hard or sharp objects but don't attempt to stop the convulsions - a fracture may result. NEVER put anything - especially a finger - into a seizing child's mouth. You WILL lose it as the biting down instinct is particularly strong during episodes. DO, however, move the child's head to the side so that the tongue falls sideways away from the throat and saliva doesn't block the airways.

3. Underarm temperature taking is inaccurate. For a good reading purchase a high end digital ear instrument or use the standard under-the-tongue or rectal modes.

4. When sponge bathing a child to bring down a fever make sure the water is warm. Overly cold temps will cause chills in turn signaling the body to raise temps even higher.

5. If a feverish child has a vacant, "zombie" look in his/her eyes or begins talking or behaving in bizarre fashion seek medical help right away.

6. Try not to panic. Your child needs you to be calm and be there for him or her.

7. Note the time so you're aware of how long the seizure lasted.

Hat-tip to Allison of An Unsealed Room.


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