Fever and Febrile Convulsions-important info to know
I posted this on another thread when someone asked about temperature, and it was posted on the old site, but did want to post it again for those of you who haven't read it-just in case you ever need the info.
Here a couple of pointers about fever in general.
Firstly any baby under age of a month with any temp over 38 (100.4 farenheit), needs to be seen by a doctor immediately.
For all other ages the most important measure of any situation is your child's behaviour-more so than how high his temp is. If a child is responsive, eating well and you can comfort them-then things are okay. A fever does not have to be treated unless your child is very uncomfortable or if your child has a history of febrile convulsions.
Temperature is your body's way of regulating itself. You are shivering because your body is trying to make your body warmer and raise your temperature. Your fever gets higher when you are sick because it seems to be the body's way of making your body less hospitable to germs. A fever is also a good signal because it tells us that a child is sick.
On the other hand, things are not right when the child is being apathetic (not responding, sluggish,limp), if their skin color is grayish and clammy (not talking about the regular sweaty from fever breaking) , lip color is bluish (and not from cold-from breathing problems), if the child is not eating or drinking and if they are crying uncontrollably and will not be comforted.
If this is the case you have 2 choices. The first is to give medication to lower the temperature, the other is to give the child a bath. DO NOT DO THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. Febrile convulsions (fits) occur when the child's temperature goes up or down too quickly.
Medications used to lower temps are paracetamol and ibuprofen. Do not use aspirin with a fever! (can cause Reye Syndrome in kids). Paracetomol is given every 4 hours as needed, ibuprofen every 6-8 hours. You can start with one and supplement the other if fever does not go down or starts to rise again. (For example-if you gave paracetamol and then 2 hours later the fever is up again, you can then give ibuprofen even though 4 hours have not passed-the same visa versa)
If you chose to give the child a bath-do not put them into a cold bath. (My mother made that mistake with my sister and she had convulsions-fever going down too fast). Put them into a regular bath (or very slightly cooler than normal bath ) and then gradually add cold water to make water temp colder. Get down to about lukewarm-not cold. Wash their hair, try to get their neck wet. Keep them in for about 20 minutes. Take them out and dress in cool clothing (don't bundle up a fever). If the bath does not lower the temp (wait another 20-30 minutes after bath to take it), then about 30-60 minutes after bath over you can give meds.
Remember:most important is your child's behaviour, and when in doubt go to the doc or A & E (emergency room) right away-do not wait. Always better to err on side of caution with children.
One more note about febrile convulsions. They have to be about the scariest thing a parent can witness. (My second had them once). They are scary but very rarely serious.
They usually occur in children (between the ages of 3 months and 3 years) and pass by 5-6 years. They usually last only a minute or two and not more than 5. (try and time them if you have the presence if mind to do so-because what seems like an eternity can be only 10 seconds and important to know if the seizure did last more than 5 minutes)
During a seizure (fit) your only aim is to try to keep your child from hurting themselves. Do not try to hold them down or put anything in their mouth. Just turn them to their side (so that if they throw up they don't choke). During a seizure the child loses consciousness, becomes stiff, stops breathing for up to 30 seconds and loses control of their bladder or bowel, wetting or soiling themselves. You may then notice twitching or spasms of both limbs and occasionally the face muscles. The child's eyes roll upwards.
This stops after a few minutes and the child regains consciousness. Following the seizure they fall into a deep sleep and are often confused or irritable when they finally wake.
If your child is seizing for the first time-call an ambulance right away. When it starts you do not know how long it will last (very rare cases they can seize more than once...) and either way you will need child evaluated. Do not waste time.
Hoping no one ever needs any of this info.
Last edited by noababy : 29-12-08 at 07:13.