Topic: Diseases & Conditions
This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about the home care of a child who has had a febrile seizure. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any instructions you do not understand.
WHAT IS A FEBRILE SEIZURE?
1. Febrile is a term meaning “with a fever.” A seizure is the same thing as a convulsion.
2. Many childhood illnesses can cause a fever such as colds, viruses, ear infections as well as more serious infections such as pneumonia and meningitis.
3. A febrile seizure may occur when a child’s body temperature begins to rise or fall suddenly.
4. Febrile seizures occur in a small number of children between the ages of five months and six years.
5. They are usually brief lasting less than five minutes, but can last longer.
6. A febrile seizure does not mean that a child has epilepsy (a seizure disorder).
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FEBRILE SEIZURE?
1. Your child’s arms and legs may become stiff with his or her eyes rolling backwards.
2. Your child’s arms and legs may jerk for a few minutes.
3. Your child may urinate or have a bowel movement during the seizure.
4. Your child will not be alert during the seizure episode and will not be able to respond to you.
5. After a seizure, your child may be drowsy or seem to be in a deep sleep. This can last from a few minutes to hours.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD HAS A FEBRILE SEIZURE AT HOME?
1. Remain calm.
2. Do not put anything in your child’s mouth. You could get bitten. The tongue cannot be swallowed.
3. Do not restrain (hold down) your child’s arms and legs. Lay your child on a soft, flat surface (carpeted floor, bed, couch). Move any objects (toys, chairs, etc.) out of the way so your child doesn’t hurt himself or herself.
4. Roll your child onto his side. This will keep your child from choking on secretions (spit or mucous). Instead, these secretions will drain out of your child’s mouth.
5. Loosen any tight clothing.
6. Allow your child to rest after the seizure is finished. It is normal for your child to feel very tired.
WHAT TO DO NEXT:
1. If the seizure does not stop within five to 10 minutes, your child needs to be seen in an emergency room immediately. Call emergency assistance (911) to bring your child to the hospital.
2. If your child’s lips become blue or pale, call emergency assistance (911) for help.
3. Once the seizure has stopped, call your doctor or go to an emergency room for further instructions.
IN THE FUTURE:
During time of fever, keep your child in light clothing (diaper/t-shirt), use Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol®). If the fever does not respond to Ibuprofen or Tylenol®, your child needs to be seen by a physician. Children usually outgrow febrile seizures by the age of six. Although febrile seizures can reoccur, most children who have had a febrile seizure never have another one.
Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).
La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.
Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
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