Febrile Convulsion in Children

*The information in this post is based on the advice from NHS UK. Please always follow your own area’s medical advice.

One hot day in May…

The reason I wanted to post about Febrile Convulsion (temperature related seizure in young children) is because we experienced one in Munchkin recently during half term and I wish I had known more before.

It was a very hot day and we spent a lot of time in the garden playing in and around the paddling pool. Toward the afternoon, Munchkin got very hot and sleepy. Thinking it was heat exhaustion, we gave him plenty to drink, popped his feet up and lay on the sofa to an episode of Hey Duggee. Twenty minutes later he was back to himself running about the house. We were immediately more cautious, staying inside and keeping water arms length from Munchkin.

He went to bed as normal, in limited clothes as it was very hot. The only difference we noticed is that he asked to sleep asking “Munchkin sleep now”, while It’s normally a little more difficult.

It must have been around 9:30 pm went we heard a weird noise come from Munchkin. We instantly turned on the camera app and witnessed his first seizure, running to his bedside and calling 999. After nearly 24 hours Munchkin was back home, the only lasting effect being Mummy and Daddy watching him like hawk ever since.

Part of me just wished we had known more, to ease our fears a little. Hence I am writing this post.

Febrile Convulsion in Children

Febrile Convulsion’s are brief seizures which can occur when a child (normally aged between 6 months to 6 years) is running a temperature. This is because, in developing children, the high temperature can disturb normal brain activity. It’s commonplace, with three cases in every 100 children and children fully recover with no lasting effect on learning or development.

Normally children only have one in their life (with 1 in 3 experiencing more than one). The overall risk of epilepsy is slightly increased after experiencing a febrile convulsion.

Febrile convulsion in children

Preventing Febrile Convulsion

Febrile convulsions are caused by running a high temperature, so, whilst not completely effective, the methods to prevent them are the same as treating a high temperature:

  • Keep your child hydrated
  • Treat with Paracetamol or Ibuprofen following normal dosage limits.
  • Cool their bedroom and remove clothing if sweating.

If a convulsion happens its important to place them in the recovery position and clear the area for anything that could harm them. Keep track of how long the seizure lasts.

When to call 999

We were right to call an ambulance as it was Munchkin’s first seizure.

Call 999 if:

  • Your child looks unwell or septic (symptoms of Sepsis – NHS UK)
  • It’s the child’s first convulsion.
  • Your child has several short convulsions in a short space of time or more than one in 24 hours.
  • If the seizure is a focal seizure. This means its on one side of their body or may last longer than 24 hours.

Further reading

Febrile seizures – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

As I said, the only effect for Munchkin has been me and Mummy watching him like a hawk and stalking him with a water bottle on hot days. We just wish we had this information beforehand, to allay our fears at the time.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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