Between 1% and 5% of the children under 5 years old undergo an episode of febrile convulsion.
Convulsions are more frequent between the 6 months and 2 years of age but they may also appear between birth and the first 6 years (some adults have them from childhood).
This is really a very worrying situation for the family because such manifestations frighten them and nobody knows what should be done in those unexpected moments.
Our intention in this article is to clarify many of the existing myths which are wrong.
The febrile convulsion is an episode in which a child’s body or part of it moves involuntarily when the body temperature rises or otherwise; all secondary to anarchical brain discharges.
It can be general (the whole body) or partial (part of it).
It can be long (more than 15 minutes) or short (from seconds to almost 15 minutes).
It may occur in the case of children with a background of neurological diseases or in those who do not have that background.
Pediatricians talk about typical and not typical febrile convulsions
The differences between them are:
Duration (more or less than 15 minutes).
Body compromise (partial or general).
Previous neurological disease.
Family background as regards febrile convulsions (parents or siblings).
Patient’s age (under or over 1 year old).
Increase in the frequency of febrile convulsions during infancy.
Presence of multiple episodes within 24 hours.
This is essential because according to these parameters the children’s neurologist will decide upon preventive treatment only during the febrile episodes, or daily treatment during a longer period of time.
The genetic transmission of the possibility to suffer from febrile convulsions has been proved as one of its causes.
Regarding temperature, the viral cause is the most frequent one.
Should your child have a febrile convulsion we recommend going to the health centre near your home immediately but CONSCIENTIOUSLY.
If you take the child in your vehicle do not risk anybody’s life: REMEMBER THAT A CONVULSION ALWAYS GIVES TIME TO ACT AS FAR AS URGENT MEDICATION IS CONCERNED
Do not put your fingers into the child’s mouth because it is NOT necessary; due to anatomical reasons the baby will not suffocate with the tongue. It is high time we gave up that myth!!!
Many times there are accidents when trying to reach the hospital fast because parents do not know they have between 20 and 30 minutes to give children the medication, if necessary; the physician, having knowledge of such cases, will decide upon this matter.
If the risk factors are low, the evolution of the febrile convulsion is favourable.
We hope we have been of help.