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FEBRILE SEIZURES; 2 MINUTES ON..

Byline: Miriam Stoppard

Very young children are prone to fevers, as their body's temperature control is not yet fully developed. These are called febrile convulsions, otherwise known as fits.

They occur in a child with a high fever of more than 39C (102.2F), most typically during the early stages of a viral infection. About 3% of children have at least one febrile convulsion.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The seizures usually last only a minute or two and never more than five minutes.

The child loses consciousness, becomes stiff, stops breathing for up to 30 seconds and loses control of their bladder or bowel.

You may then notice twitching or spasms of both limbs and occasionally the face muscles. Your child's eyes roll upwards. This stops after a few minutes and your child regains consciousness. Following the seizure, they fall into a deep sleep and are often confused or irritable when they wake.

WHAT'S THE TREATMENT?

The aim is to stop your child hurting themselves during the seizure, but don't hold them down or put anything in their mouth. Place them in the recovery position and call your doctor.

To bring their temperature down, cool the room, loosen their clothing, and give paracetamol or ibuprofen, according to the instructions.

Most children grow out of febrile convulsions without coming to any harm. However, about 1% of children do subsequently develop epilepsy.

Have a chat with your doctor if you are worried.

Additional research: JULIE MCCAFFREY
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2011
Words:244
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