First Aid Treatment for a Febrile Seizure

A febrile seizure is a seizure caused by an elevated body temperature (fever) in a child. Febrile seizures commonly occur in children ages three months to six years old. Between 2 and 4 percent of children will experience at least one febrile seizure by the age of five. Febrile seizures are very frightening for parents to watch but rarely cause any permanent harm or disability to a child, and most last less than five minutes. All children who have had their first seizure should be assessed by a medical professional in order to rule out other potential causes of seizures. Most febrile seizures will stop without medical treatment; however, in some cases medication may be required to stop the seizures.

Medical Terminology

Febrile convulsion is another term used to refer to a febrile seizure.

Signs and Symptoms of a Febrile Seizure

◾ Loss of consciousness

◾ Stiffening of muscles

◾ Repetitive jerking movements of the arms and legs

◾ Incontinence

◾ High temperature (fever)

First Aid Treatment for a Febrile Seizure

1. Protect the child from injury by placing pillows or other padding around her.

2. Remove excessive clothing and open a window to cool the child.

3. Once the seizure is over, place the child on her side and ensure her airway is open.

4. Do not attempt to restrain the child or place anything in her mouth.

5. Seek medical assistance, or call EMS if the seizure is prolonged, the child has multiple seizures, or it is her first seizure.

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