world first aid day: febrile seizures

two babies cuddling

Today’s blog to mark World First Aid Day comes from Kate Ball, Director of Mini First Aid. In this blog series, Mini First Aid will be speaking to a team of medical practitioners; to answer your common first aid questions and concerns. This week they discuss febrile seizures.

as summer ends the fevers begin

As the summer holidays come to an end; it feels like the temperature instantly drops a few degrees. It is a tricky time of year – tights or no tights; when to box up the summer clothes for another year; how long you have to wait before talking about Christmas.

Joking aside, it is also the time of year when the nasty bugs start flying around and we see an increase in fevers. One of the common worries for parents of newborns is febrile seizures which can occur as a result of a high temperature.

We are seeing more and more parents at our classes who have experienced their baby or toddler having a seizure, and for those, it can be a terrifying experience. So I wanted to answer some common questions to help you stay calm and act quickly to help your baby.

what are febrile seizures?

A febrile seizure is a fit, which is caused by a child having a fever (a raised temperature as a result of an infection of some sort).

what happens?

The baby/child’s body goes stiff and twitches or jolts (sometimes violently). During this time, the baby or child is unconscious.

what age do they occur?

Febrile seizures are most common in babies from birth to 3 years; the age in which their bodies’ heat control system is rather amateur and they are unable to regulate their body temperature. Illness causes a fever (high temperature) and their body responds by having a seizure.

what should i do if my baby has a seizure?

• first of all, stay calm
• place the baby/child on their side with their head tilted back
• cool them (without sudden shock cold temperatures)
• remove additional layers of clothing
• the seizure should last for less than 5 minutes
• call 999

Whilst these seizures are normally not life-threatening, as parents and carers we need to know what to do. If the seizure reoccurs within 24 hours there may be something more serious going on, which is why you should always ring 999.

As a parent, I know how difficult it can be staying calm in this type of situation. Knowing what to do can make all the difference. At Mini First Aid it is important we strike the right balance between not worrying parents too much; and providing the facts and correct emergency treatment techniques. I look forward to sharing more topics with you and hopefully getting that balance right!


To find out more or book a Mini First Aid class near you, go to Mini First Aid

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