Seizures are quite common among children in 2 forms – febrile and epileptic. It is vital to be prepared on what to do during a seizure episode.
What is a febrile seizure?
If there is prolonged temperature of higher than 37 degrees C or fever, it indicates fever and the skin is warm to the touch. The objective of treatment is to reduce the body temperature.
- Provide the child with plenty of fluids to drink.
- Provide the recommended dosage of paracetamol to minimize the discomfort as well as help reduce the body temperature.
In some circumstances, febrile seizures can develop. Once the seizure starts, the child starts to twitch their muscles, eyes appear fixed or roll upwards, the back arches, fists are clenched; the face appears blue and may even hold their breath. Always bear in mind that the twitching can be violent.
You have to ensure that the child will not harm themselves and cool them down. Always bear in mind that the seizure typically lasts for a couple of minutes and stops once cool.
What is an epileptic seizure?
An epileptic seizure is considered as part of a medical condition and occurs once there is a disruption in the electrical activity in the brain. This type of seizure is uncommon than the febrile seizures.
A major seizure can progress through various stages such as abrupt unconsciousness, stiffness and arching of the back, loss of breath and frothing or bubbling in the mouth. In most cases, the child eventually regains consciousness within a few minutes but appears dazed.
Important considerations to bear in mind
Once a child suffers from a prolonged episode of febrile seizure, it is vital to seek medical care. If a child suffers from epileptic seizures, there are measures to bear in mind:
- Assist the child to the floor if he/she starts to fall and prevent injury by clearing away objects that can cause injury.
- Apply padding below or around the head to prevent injury.
- Once the seizure is over, the child might be unconscious. You have to remove the padding, open the airway and check the breathing.
- In case the child is breathing, you have to place him/her in a recovery position. Stay with the child until fully recovered since they may feel dazed or act oddly. If not breathing, you have to perform CPR.
You have to check for a bracelet or card that serves as an alert that the individual has a history of epilepsy. It is recommended to allow the seizure to take its natural course. Do not attempt to hold down or move the child during an episode.
Do not place anything inside the mouth or provide anything to eat or drink. Once the child has not experienced a seizure previously, if there are recurrent seizures or if the loss of consciousness is more than 10 minutes, call for emergency assistance.