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Febrile Convulsion - i feel so guilty

(16 Posts)
Liskey Tue 28-Dec-10 12:38:06

DD had a febrile convulsion yesterday evening. I'm feeling so guilty that I didn't realise she was that unwell.

She was fine all morning but lunchtime wouldn't eat and then was hot - temp 38.9 gave her calpol and it came down to 37.4. She had a nap seemed a little warm but not as bad as earlier and then went to get her tea and she started fitting in her high chair. Rushed to hospital and it lasted for about 15/20 mins in all and stayed overnight and instructions to keep giving her calpol and ipufren alternate. Temperature spiked at 39 in hospital - i really thought it had to be that high or higher to worry about fitting. Now I really will be a worried first time parent about this happening again.

SantosLHalper Tue 28-Dec-10 12:42:25

Some children are prone to them and it souds like you haven't been remiss in her care. These things just happen sometimes.

She IS sadly more likely to have more so you just need to respond to any slight temp with calpol etc.

All first time parents worry, its not an easy job!


Liskey Tue 28-Dec-10 12:48:54

Cheers for that - feeling very protective about her today and low - didn't really sleep in hospital.

She's not really run a high temperature before, even though she's just turned 1, so this was all a big shock. Though my Mum and Dad who were staying at the time recognised it immediately as i had them as well, apparently they can run in families, DH then pipes up his nephew had them too.

DD is going to hate the sight of that thermomoter.

LoveMyGirls Tue 28-Dec-10 12:51:23

This happened to me and my dd1, thankfully both of us only did it once and I've been extra careful with dd2 and she is now 5 and never had one. They do really scare you but you handled it really well so don't feel guilty!

UnquietDad Tue 28-Dec-10 12:55:30

We had this too - twice with DD when she was under 2. It's really no reflection on your parenting and, despite how scary it looks, doesn't cause any long-term harm to the child.

SmokinSanta Tue 28-Dec-10 13:05:38

They are so scary. DS1 was 2.2 when he had his - we were in the hospital already, he was laying in my arms and started fitting. I have never been so scared or felt so helpless in my life, I remember just standing there screaming and crying for help.

Its meant I am paranoid about high temps now, and will always medicate for anythingover 37.5 and check religiously. I feel so guilty I couldnt prevent DS's as I just couldnt get the medicine to stay in him (he had suppositries in the end as even the doctors and nurses couldnt do it)

They are very scary things, how is your daughter now?

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 14:53:57

I don't have personal experience as dd has not had them so far. However:

- they are not caused by the temperature itself, but by the temperature rising quickly
- you may want to invest in a Braun ear thermometer as it is not very intrusive and very quick and your dd can even learn to do it herself when she is slightly older and use it on you and her doll/soft toy - they are also very accurate
- when my dd is not well I tend to check temp very very regularly, for example every 15 minutes in order to decide whether to give calprofen or calpol or both
- once she has had febrile convulsions your dd is much more likely to have them again, so you may want to read up on them to put your mind a bit at rest, but I totally sympathise must be absolutely awful to watch
- I forgot if at that age they can already have nurofen/calprofen, but if so, this brings the temperature down quicker than calpol (paracetamol)
- I think it is really difficult to judge with some children how ill they are, when dd was a little baby she was so ill and still trying to make the staff laugh, you would have not known it was that serious

Hope you are both okay now.

Liskey Tue 28-Dec-10 16:03:26

Hi cheers for the messages.

We've got that thermomter too - its very good i think.

DD seemed a bit better but her temperature went up again to 39.4! and she was very very lathgtic. She got given another dose of Calpol as she'd already had calprofen and went straight to sleep. Dh just checked her again and said she seems a lot cooler now and still sleeping - she didn't get much either last night.

bubbleymummy Tue 28-Dec-10 17:26:59

Don't feel guilty! As someone earlier sad, febrile convulsions are caused by the speed at which the temperature rises, not the height of the temperature itself. This means that a lot of the time they happen before you even know that your child has a temperature. The NICE guidelines don't recommend treating a fever with the sole purpose of trying to prevent a convulsion because it has been shown that antipyretics (like paracetemol and ibuprofen) don't actually prevent febrile convulsions - here Hope she feels better soon!

enimod Tue 28-Dec-10 20:01:17

my son has one when he was about 5 months old in his car seat-it was horrible-i remember every move and his eyes- i rushed straight to the hjospital they were not even bothered-they took his temperature and said he was ok and i went home. i was so scared. he then had a very mini type fit about a month later- both times he had a chest infection. recently he had temp of 40 but thankfully no fitting.he is now 14 months old.
it is so scary-i personally think i was to blame- he had been hot and poorly so i took him for a car ride to pick up his younger brother from nursery and i wound all the car windows down- i think the change in temperature-him being very warm and suddenly being in the cold caused it.

Liskey Wed 29-Dec-10 17:03:00

Cheers for the reassurances - i didn't realise it was the speed of the temp rising. Dd is now much better temp down to 36.5 crawling around and beginning to show a little interest in food, even if she is still off a bit - not having as much milk as normal.

Only downside now I'm feeling unwell and running a bit of a temperature!

LoveMyGirls Wed 29-Dec-10 18:47:41

With my dd1 it was because pil took her out for lunch and none of us realised she was running a temp, she banged her leg on a cast iron table leg and started crying for me (I had gone xmas shopping so wasn't there) and it was the crying that made her temp shoot right up.

When I had mine I was unwell and my aunt put me in a cold bath to try and get my temp down but that caused me to have a convulsion, the advice now is to be careful about bathing children with temps and to use luke warm water I think.

Schulte Wed 29-Dec-10 20:00:39

Please don't feel guilty... same experience here with DD1 when she was 18 months old and she'd never run a temp before and then fitted. I thought it was because I was too slow with administering the Calpol, but the truth is you simply cannot stop a convulsion and they are going to happen anyway. She went on to have two more, both times we called an ambulance, but hasn't had one for over two years now and is a very healthy nearly 4-yo. Apart from alternating Calpol and Calprofen religiously every 4 hours even throughout the night whenever she had the slightest temp, and keeping her in our room when she was ill, the best advice we ever got was to buy a fan, because that cools her down slightly without getting her too cold - as someone else has said, if they get too cold, the temperature spikes again and they can fit again. Chin up, you'll all get through this, but it is scary and I sympathise!

LadyLapsang Wed 29-Dec-10 20:12:23

Never underestimate the effectiveness of good old fashioned nursing alongside the medication; tepid sponging, nursing the child naked or just in a nappy and just using a sheet (with a fan in summer); also keep the fluid intake up and check the baby is passing urine (check how wet the nappy is).

moosky Wed 29-Dec-10 21:58:33

Another mum here with a DC who's had febrile convulsions. It IS very scarey. DD has had two - one at 18 months old after measles jab, the other a year later when she had a virus. She's now 6.
It has honestly scarred me, emotionally and I'm a nervous reck whenever either of the kids are ill, get pananoid when any of their friends are ill and have become mental about hygeine!!!
I can only echo what the OPs have said. In terms of managing temps hereon-in, this is what I would do:

NEVER bath or sponge down (just cool flannel to forehead only)
Alternate nurofen / calpol
Cool room
Strip down clothing. Thin cotton sheet and undies/nappy
Fan in room but not directly on child
Lots of cold fluids.

Best of luck - it is horrible! xx

bubbleymummy Thu 30-Dec-10 00:01:01

I would just like to recommend reading the NICE guidelines to the people suggesting alternating Calpol and Ibuprofen and using them solely to prevent a convulsion. Neither of these suggestions are recommended. Antipyretics (fever-reducing medicine) do not prevent convulsions.

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