Febrile convulsions in a child: causes, emergency care, consequences
Cramps in a child, when they occur for the first time, lead parents to a terrible state. The baby has febrile seizures - what to do in this case? After all, only the doctor knows how to alleviate the condition of the child and provide him with emergency care.
What is cramps?
Febrile convulsions in babies are a convulsive state that occurs in conditions of high temperature. Such disorders of the nervous system occur in children aged 6 months to 6 years. Usually in older children and adults, these types of cramps are absent.
To date, the exact causes and mechanism of the development of a convulsive state caused by high temperature have not been fully established.
According to statistics, from 5 to 15% of the child population is subject to febrile convulsions.
Causes of febrile seizures in children
Various factors that lead to hyperthermia in a child can provoke a convulsive state.Attacks occur in the background:
- febrile temperature (38.1-39);
- high febrile if the child has a temperature of 39 or higher (39.1- 41);
- hyperpyretic fever (over 41).
Causes of cramps can be described as:
Infectious causes of convulsive state
Several diseases fall into this category:
Bacteria, viruses, chlamydia, protozoan parasites, pathogenic fungi, mycoplasma cause diseases. In children under one year, convulsions appear against the background of the herpes virus entering the children's body.
Non-infectious factors leading to convulsions
Febrile seizures in a child may be caused by signs of a non-infectious nature, such as:
- abnormalities of the nervous system (tumors, head injuries);
- neurosis, psychosis;
- metabolic disorders, allergic reactions;
- shock condition;
- post-vaccination reaction;
- hereditary factors;
- allergy to drugs.
Convulsive state, occurring mainly in children under 6 years of age, is associated with the formation of the brain. This occurs within a certain period after the birth of the child. Excitation processes in the nervous tissue dominate the processes of inhibition, usually up to 6 years of age of the baby.
Symptoms and types of cramps in children
Febrile seizures in a child are not a type of epilepsy, but have some signs similar to this disease. They can be classified as typical and atypical.
- Tonic.They are manifested in the form of increased tone, muscle tension. The child presses his arms to his chest, his legs straightened, his head thrown back.
- Atonic.This condition manifests itself in the form of complete relaxation of all muscles, which causes urination and defecation. The baby's skin turns pale, he stops moving, his gaze stops. This condition can last up to 5 minutes, and sometimes up to half an hour.
Atypical convulsionslast more than a quarter of an hour. After them, the child may be delayed speech and motor development. The convulsive state touches one part of the body, with a noticeable movement or abduction sideways of the eyeballs.
Diagnosis of seizures in children
When a child has febrile seizures, the consequences can manifest themselves in different ways. Therefore, after an attack of a baby, it is imperative to show the neurologist. Diagnosis is to exclude some factors of convulsive seizures, in particular, epilepsy.
Initially, the doctor examines the child, checking his reflexes and interviews the parents. He wonders if there were people in the family with similar problems, how many minutes the attack lasted, and in what position the child was.
The doctor checks the development of the baby in accordance with age: how it walks, talks, whether it holds objects normally.
Child examination includes:
- General and biochemical analysis of blood and urine.
- Computed tomography.
- Ultrasound of the brain.
- In rare cases, spinal tap puncture may be indicated.
Based on the examination, the doctor prescribes treatment. In many cases, febrile seizures in a child do not affect his health. However, only a specialist can confirm or refute the possible negative effects of a convulsive state.
First aid for child with convulsions
The parents are the first to experience seizures in a child, so they need to know how to help the baby in this position. Initially, you need to call an ambulance.
Help is as follows:
- The child should be placed on a flat surface: a soft carpet, a table covered with a rug, or grass if the cramps occurred on the street. So parents will prevent the kid from getting injuries when he starts hitting the surface during convulsions. Laying it on a pillow or a soft bed should not be so that the baby does not suffocate.
- During an attack, the child may choke on saliva or choke on vomiting, so it is placed on its side. So it is easier to breathe and eliminates the possibility of an unpleasant situation.
Prior to the arrival of doctors, parents are advised to pay attention to the duration of the convulsive state and its characteristic features.
During convulsions, remember:
- position of the child during the attack;
- the position of the limbs and head of the baby;
- the presence and absence of consciousness;
- eye condition (open or closed).
If the arrival of doctors for some reason is delayed, you should try to reduce the temperature yourself.
When febrile seizures occur, the immediate assistance of parents is the ability to remain calm, because the baby’s health depends on their actions.
What is not recommended for a child during convulsions?
When a seizure occurs, parents are prohibited from doing the following:
- The child cannot be pressed to the surface, because the cramps cannot be stopped, and the baby can get injured (fractured).
- It is forbidden to put various objects into the child’s mouth, this can lead to damage to the teeth and jaw.
- During an attack, the baby does not need to be given water or medication, it may choke. Antipyretic drugs should be given 15 minutes after the attack, after making sure that the child has recovered.
- The baby does not need to do artificial respiration, so it is necessary to act only when the heart stops.
- Parents should not leave the child alone while he has a seizure. This can be life threatening.
Febrile cramps in a child last about a few minutes and go away on their own. Therefore, parents need to simply protect the baby from the dangers that appear during the attacks.
Treatment of cramps
There are febrile convulsions at a temperature, in this case the main thing is to reduce its performance. Therefore, physical means and drugs are used.
Physical means include methods aimed at lowering the high body temperature. So it is possible:
- undress the baby;
- put a compress on his head;
- make an enema;
- wipe the baby’s skin with a diaper dipped in water at room temperature;
- enter intravenous glucose;
- air the room.
Antipyretic drugs recommended for children at a temperature of:
- Ibuprofen (Nurofen).
- "Papaverine" or "No-shpa" intramuscularly.
When convulsions, the doctor can prescribe tranquilizers, if the need arose for their admission. Medicines should not be given to young children on their own, because they can harm their health.
When convulsive states are discharged:
If parents notice that the child has a temperature of 39 degrees, it is urgent to give him antipyretic drugs. Treatment in many cases is to reduce its performance.
If the cause of the fever in a baby was a virus, antiviral drugs will be prescribed to it, which can alleviate its condition.
You can avoid a recurrence of the attack, if you find out the cause of its occurrence. For disorders of a neurological nature, treatment appropriate to the diagnosis will be given. In this case, the doctor may prescribe antiepileptic drugs for a long time.
Treatment may be prescribed in the case of a complete examination of the child’s body by a specialist who can establish the diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate medication.
Dr. Komarovsky about convulsions in a child
Komarovsky connects the arising febrile convulsions with a sharp rise in temperature. Sensitivity to its high performance is a characteristic feature of the growing child's brain.
Mostly children outgrow such convulsions without consequences. They can not be treated if the convulsive state is caused only by high temperature.
The occurrence of seizures is considered a serious phenomenon and parents must be attentive to the health of the child. In the case of a baby’s temperature, it should be beaten down immediately with antipyretic drugs. It is necessary to ensure that such a child does not exceed 38 degrees.
Additionally, the baby can take sedatives and calcium supplements prescribed by a pediatrician.
Clinical supervision of a child who has cramps
Children who have suffered convulsions at a temperature should be under constant examination by a pediatrician and a children's neurologist at the place of residence.
Monitoring the condition of the child helps to further prevent the occurrence of an attack. The pediatrician will monitor the development of the baby, monitor the presence of possible signs of somatic diseases. The neurologist must competently examine the child and eliminate abnormalities in the development of the nervous system.
One of the important tasks of specialists is considered constant communication with the parents of this child. They lucidly explain the specificity of the situation, the possible consequences and rules of behavior during an attack.
Completely healthy children do not need any prevention of febrile seizures. Parents should provide the child with a healthy diet, properly organize the daily regimen and regularly seek help from a pediatrician and a neurologist.So you can strengthen the health of the baby, notice the changes in the early stages and prevent the development of complications.
All children who have suffered convulsions at a temperature all treatment is prescribed exclusively by a doctor. This may be taking sedatives and drugs to strengthen the immune system. Increasing the child's body resistance will reduce the risk of high fever.
You can not give your child, at its discretion, no antiepileptic or sedative drugs, unless recommended by your doctor.
All parents should understand that medications have a serious effect on the nervous system of the child and slow down brain activity.
Consequences, possible complications and prognosis
The exact prognosis of a certain child can only be given by the attending physician, because the consequences are very different. The severity of complications depends entirely on the type of seizures, their duration and frequency.
When making a forecast for a child suffering from convulsive states, the following factors should be considered:
- the likelihood of recurrence of seizures;
- the possibility of transforming them into epilepsy;
- danger of neurological, including intellectual developmental disabilities.
What are dangerous febrile seizures? In most cases, convulsive states pass without consequences and have no effect on the future life of the child.
Difficult forms of seizures may degenerate into epilepsy, but this occurs in 5–15% of all cases. The danger lies in the occurrence of a child’s developmental delays. This occurs in atypical convulsions.
The occurrence of a convulsive state in newborns and children up to 6 months is very dangerous. After all, a child at this age is still very weak. Parents who have suffered from such symptoms in childhood should constantly show their baby to the pediatrician and try to protect him from contact with infections.
Febrile seizures in most cases - a phenomenon that does not entail any consequences and does not need special treatment. However, parents should consult a doctor in order not to miss possible complications and dangerous diseases.