Tuesday, 6 December, 2011
Health Matters: What to do when febrile seizure strikes
Six out of 100 children will have a febrile seizure before their sixth birthday. Dr. Michelle Wright talks about these seizures, which can strike during a high fever. She discusses what they look like, why they happen and how common they are. We’ll also be hearing from a mother whose daughter had a febrile seizure:
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All advice and medical information provided during Health Matters is as accurate and as comprehensive as possible, however it is only general advice and information. It should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions or as a substitute for the individual advice that listeners may receive from consulting their own doctor. ALWAYS check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment. WRS and Dr Michelle Wright are not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any form of damages whatsoever resulting from the use of information contained in or implied by Health Matters shows.
First Aid if a child is having a febrile seizure
1. Try to note the time the seizure started.
2. Ensure that the child is safe—lie the child on the floor (on the side if possible as this helps to keep the airway open), move any objects away that they may hit/bang into. Be particularly careful to make sure the head is protected.
3. Call 144.
4. When the seizure stops:
- Check for a response (for a baby, rub their hands and feet on both sides, for a child over 1 you can rub around their collar bone area).
- Make sure the child is breathing normally.
- If there is no response and he/she is not breathing normally, start cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- If the child has a reduced level of consciousness but is breathing, put the child into the recovery position (this is a safe position for a person with a reduced level of consciousness).
- You can also work to cool the child down by removing clothing. N.B. DON’T GIVE PARACETAMOL, DRINKS OR ANYTHING BY MOUTH TO A CHILD WITH A REDUCED LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS (this could be a choking hazard).You can use a paracetamol suppository.
- Keep monitoring the child, checking his/her response and breathing until the ambulance arrives.
Try to hold down a child having a seizure
Put anything into their mouth
Give them anything to bite onto
Try to hold onto the tongue
Note: In the vast majority of cases, a child will be breathing after a seizure and will not need CPR. Go on a first aid course to learn how to check for a response, assess for normal breathing, give CPR and put a child into the recovery position.
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