Seizures are convolutions that occur when there is an abnormality in brain functioning. Certain seizures affect only a part of the body, while others affect the entire body. There can be many reasons for developing seizures, but the most common reason for seizures in children is fever and this type of seizure is called febrile seizure. About two to five percent of the children are found to have febrile seizure at some point of their childhood.
At the time of a febrile seizure, most of the kids lose their consciousness and shake their hands and legs. Usually febrile seizures last for a minute or two and at times extend up to five minutes.
Most of the children develop febrile seizures for the first time between the age of six months to three years. If seizure develops soon after recovery from fever when the body temperature is normal, the chances for recurrent seizures are high.
How to Prevent Seizures in Children
Whether the Seizures are Harmful
Normally, seizures are harmless, but the affected child may get injured due to fall or may develop choke from saliva or food. If proper first aids are given, this can be avoided. Whenever the child develops seizure, allow the child to remain on his/her side and try to remove the objects if any in his/her mouth.
This helps to prevent choking to a great extent. Most of the febrile seizures do not cause any brain damage and about 98 percent of the kids are not likely to develop epilepsy in future. Those children who have prolonged febrile seizures or seizures that recur within 24 hours or seizures that affect only a part of the body are more at risk. If the child has seizure for more than 10 minutes, then take the child immediately to the hospital.
Usually febrile seizures do not require medications, but if seizures recur or last long then, the most common practice for preventing further seizures is medications, but most of the medicines have adverse side effects. Hence, doctors will follow frequent blood tests and strictly monitor the side effects.
At times more than one medication is necessary to prevent the seizures. Usually it takes a month to adjust the medication as per needs of the child. Regular EEG’s helps to know whether the seizures are under control and this help the doctor to alter the dosage of medications.
Ketogenic diet is another preventive measure and those who follow this diet can even reduce their dosage of medication or discontinue the usage of medication. Ketogenic diet is rich with fibers, fats and low in protein. In order to start this diet, child has to be admitted in the hospital and make him/her fast for one day under medical supervision.
This triggers ketosis, during which the body makes use of the fat deposits to make fuel and ketones start appear in urine. Thereafter ketongenic diet foods are introduced to the diet. The management of ketogenic diet can be done at home.
Surgery is considered as the last option and is very risky, as it removes a part of the brain that causes seizures. At times this surgery may affect eyesight, speech and even memory.
Always be with your child when they have a fever and protect them from the hazards of seizures.