The harsh reality of febrile seizures woke us up Tuesday morning at 3am. Babygirl has been fighting a pesky fever for 24 hours and we didn’t seem to bring the fever down. Having experienced the harsh reality of febrile seizures with all 3 of our children, we made sure to monitor Babygirl and the fever around the clock. Then it happened and it was the scariest few minutes of our lives looking at our unresponsive toddler.
Febrile seizures are convulsions that can happen during a fever (febrile means “feverish”). They affect kids 3 months to 6 years old, and are most common in toddlers 12–18 months old. The seizures usually last for a few minutes and are accompanied by a fever above 100.4°F (38°C).
While they can be frightening, febrile seizures usually end without treatment and don’t cause other health problems. Having one doesn’t mean that a child will have epilepsy or brain damage. Febrile seizures stop on their own, while the fever may continue for some time. Some kids might feel sleepy afterward; others feel no lasting effects. No one knows why febrile seizures happen, although evidence suggests that they’re linked to certain viruses and the way that some children’s developing brains react to high fevers.
Febrile seizures are not considered epilepsy (seizure disorder), and kids who’ve had one have only a slightly increased risk for developing epilepsy.
What to Do
If your child has a febrile seizure, stay calm and:
- Make sure your child is on a safe surface, such as the floor, and cannot fall down or hit something hard.
- Lay your child on his or her side to prevent choking. This is especially important if your child has a lot of saliva coming out of the mouth.
- Watch for breathing problems, including any color change in your child’s face.
- If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, or your child turns blue, it may be a more serious type of seizure — call 911 right away.
Hubby and I have dealt with the harsh reality of febrile seizures and it’s excruciating to watch a child unresponsive with arms limp. We quickly jumped into action, covered her with a wet towel to bring the fever down. Hubby called 911 while I administered some fever-reducing medicine once I could observe some response from Babygirl.
When the police and ambulance arrived, Babygirl was more alert and I rode with her to the ER while Hubby stayed home with the oldest two. In the ambulance, I started praying and playing her playlist with her current favorite artists Ada (song Jesus You Are Able) and Sinach (song Way Maker) until we got to the hospital.
Once we got into the room assigned to her and the doctor along with the nurse came in, Babygirl needed some reassurance and when she started crying for me I knew she was alright. They monitored her through the night and we gladly left for home in the morning.
It was certainly a celebration in our drive back home with our whole family aware of the harsh reality of febrile seizures. We met with her pediatrician that same morning and she referred us to a pediatric neurologist to be on the safe side.
Babygirl is still fighting the fever and we are monitoring her around the clock because the harsh reality of febrile seizures is quite the wake up call of how fragile each moment is. As I am finishing up this post, I am glad to have Babygirl home with us and she is glad to be in our bed where she feels at peace. Before the harsh reality of febrile seizures, I would make a fuss for her to stay in her bed but tonight I am grateful to hold her in my arms and thankful to God for the gift in each moment with loved ones.
Here’s to appreciating the gift of time with our children in healthy whole MOMents and Happy Wednesday!