What we experienced last week could have been a nightmare for any parent. The most difficult 15 minutes of our life. The 1 km distance from our home to hospital was the longest we had ever travelled. This week taught me many lessons about child care, which I thought of sharing with you all.
Last Sunday, H got a heat stroke when we ended up in a traffic jam for 15-20 minutes. Since AC didn’t cool much in the excessive afternoon heat, she sweated profusely but as soon as we got out of the traffic, she was fine and we came home. Everything was normal until next day, when she had a little fever, one loose stool and a bout of vomiting. I spoke to my paediatrician about her symptoms and he diagnosed it as heat stroke, which could be treated by bringing down her body temperature. I gave her crocin as suggested and waited for the fever to come down.
(Learning: Avoid sitting in a still car parked in sun when you are with a kid. Kids’ bodies get heated up faster than adult bodies, leading to heat stroke.)
The fever subsided by evening but what happened post that gives me goosebumps even now. In a span of an hour her body temperature rose from 98.6 to 103 degrees. Resting in her Papa’s arms, she suddenly let her body loose. Her neck fell back and she rolled her eyes. We could only see the white part of her eyes and she lost consciousness. Naturally we panicked. Not knowing what to do, we just rushed to our car to take her to the nearest hospital. With not even the lightest clue of what was happening to her, we kept on sprinkling water on her face as we drove. While I had hit the panic button, Papa M was continuously talking to her expecting a response. By God’s grace, after 4-5 minutes she responded. We got an assurance that she was back to her senses but we were yet to hear it from the doctor.
(Learning: A medication to lower fever can be given even on an empty stomach. So, if the fever is increasing, immediately give medicine.)
What is a febrile convulsion & its cause: The doctor said what she suffered was ‘febrile convulsion’ – a seizure caused due to high body temperature. (Generally, a fever that’s more than 100 degree F. ) A common occurrence in kids aged 6 months and 5 years. Most of the times a febrile convulsion lasts for not more than 5 minutes in duration and the child is absolutely normal within an hour. However, the doctors kept her under observation for 24 hours to avoid a repeated convulsion and administer medication. The chances of a child getting a febrile convulsion increases if it runs in family. (Both Papa M and me have had similar convulsions as kids.)
Symptoms of Febrile Convulsions
– Body becomes stiff, clenched fists
– They may arch their backs
– Arms and legs begin to twitch
– Rolling of eyes
– Foam from mouth
– Irregular breathing or they may hold their breaths
– Body temperature higher than 100 degrees F
What to do if you think your child is getting a febrile convulsion:
First and foremost, don’t panic. (I have to learn this.)
– Do not restrain the child. Keep him/ her safe from injury by removing any kind of objects that can hurt them while he/she is having a seizure. You can use a soft blanket to save their head from injury.
– Try to bring their body temperature down by removing their clothes, opening the windows or switching the AC on if required.
– In case they vomit or have foam while having a seizure, tilt their head on a side so that the vomit doesn’t restrict their breathing.
Once, the convulsion is over you must consult a doctor, who can decide the further course of the treatment. Febrile convulsions are common. But don’t avoid taking your child to the doctor.
In future, every time your child’s fever increases 100 degree F, doctor might suggest you to administer a particular medicine to your child to avoid convulsion. So, try to keep the child cool & do as your doctor says.
By God’s grace, H is doing fine now.