If you’ve ever seen your child tense up, lose consciousness or convulse out of control, you know how scary infantile seizures can be. More than a temper tantrum over a favorite snack or toy, a seizure can overwhelm your child and your family as you observe it. They can cause long-term damage, so visit a doctor immediately.
What It Looks Like
Seizures are relatively short-lived, intense convulsions of your child’s entire body, both sides and from top to bottom. He will be unable to talk or interact with you. His body may tense or stiffen or he may go limp, fall to the floor or twitch. He may even lose control of his bowel or regurgitation muscles. Seizures can range from a few short seconds to a few minutes.
When To Be On The Lookout
Seizures are relatively common in children aged 3 months to 5 years. Approximately 2 to 5 percent of children between these age ranges experience at least one seizure. Children are especially susceptible when they are ill and have a fever. If your child or your family members have a history of seizures, keep an eye out for them in your own child. Keep an eye on your child during these critical years, especially when he is sick.
What Causes It
According to the Ohio State University Medical Center, a seizure is caused by a disruption or abundance of electrical signals in the brain. A number of elements, including high temperatures in the body, can cause this disruption. Seizures caused by fevers are called febrile seizures.
How To Treat It
If your child does go into a seizure, you must react immediately to keep him safe and not able to harm himself or others. The first thing to remember is that he has no control over his fine or gross motor skills. If he is small enough, move him into his bed or a nest of pillows and blankets. Surround him by soft cushions so he can’t hurt himself while he convulses. Keep him facing one side so that any vomit or spit that releases will run to the side. As painful as it is, you will have to watch your child work through the seizure. If he struggles to breath or the seizures lasts more than a few minutes, call 911 for immediate medical attention.
You need to see a doctor once your child has finished his seizure. Your doctor will need to check his overall symptoms and possibly do a brain scan to check for permanent damage. Your doctor will also want to record this event in your child’s health record.