PARENTS TAKE NOTE: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR KID IS STRUCK WITH FEBRILE FITS

I am writing this post for the benefit of all parents who have children below 6 years old. Our son was hospitalized today for febrile fever. He was having cough and fever yesterday and had seen the doctor. Doctor prescribed normal cough and running nose medication. His fever went up to 38.6 last night and I gave him suppositories. Fever was ok throughout the night but came back this morning though wasn’t high. Our helper called when we were at work to say Cyrus wasn’t breathing and rushed him to hospital. According to our helper, He had a seizure and was foaming at his mouth, stopped breathing and turned blue. He regained consciousness at the hospital. We are thankful that we stay not too far from the hospital.

The doctor explained he had “febrile fits”. Apparently it was quite normal for children below 6 years old and is not life threatening.

Usually occurs during high temperatures or when there is a sudden spike in the temperature. This is the 2nd time it happened in our family. Our youngest daughter, Ciara also had it when she was 18 months old. Her temperature then was 38.3 degrees Celcius and Cyrus was at 38.5 degrees Celcius. We are really really thankful that he is okay.

In case this happened to anyone, these are the things that may happen and what you should do:

In a fit, the child’s arms and legs will jerk involuntarily; up-rolling of the eyes and teeth clenching are common signs. The child may also pass motion and/or urine during a fit.

Fits usually last a few minutes, with some as long as 15 minutes.

A child will commonly feel sleepy after a fit.

There is a 30% chance that the child will have another fit, especially if the body temperature maintains at 38.5ºC and above.

The actual cause of febrile fits has not been clearly established but there may be a background family history associated with it.

Simple febrile fits do not cause brain damage, nor do they cause delay in child’s development.

What you should do:

Stay calm, DO NOT PANIC!

Do NOT attempt to put objects such as a spoon or even your finger into the child’s mouth. This will only cause unnecessary injury to the child and yourself. Nor should you try to feed the child medication during a fit.

Place the child on his side to prevent choking of secretions. Try to keep him comfortable by allowing him to lie on a flat surface. Make sure that hard or sharp objects are not in the way as they may hurt the child during the fit.

Try to bring the fever down after the fit has ceased with either medication prescribed by your doctor, or sponging. However, do not feed any medication orally while your child is still drowsy.

Always bring your child to the doctor if in doubt.

Bring the child to a doctor if :

This is the first time the child has a febrile fit.

The fit lasts more than 15 minutes.

The child is unable to move one side of his body, such as the arms or legs, after the fit.

The child is unusually irritable or drowsy after the fit.

The child has injured himself during the fit, such as a head injury as result of falling off a couch.

Taking Care Of A Child With A History Of Febrile Fits

Monitor the child’s body temperature closely every 2 – 4 hours.

Feed the child medication and sponge him regularly to keep his body temperature below 38.5ºC

Rectal valium may also be used when fits occur. Check with your doctor on the usage. (Extracted fm http://www.Kkh.com.sg)

I hope this post helps some parents out there. Don’t be like us! We were ignorant when it first happened and were scared the wits out of us! Even when it happened the 2nd time, we still lose it when helper called to say Cyrus wasn’t breathing! Apparently it happens in 1 out of 4 children or 25% of the children get it. For us it was 50%. Since it is so common, I believe all parents with young children should be educated on this. Take care!

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