It has been a busy week for us. Entirely due to Baby being down with fever, which ended up with her being hospitalized. Yes, it was quite bad.
So, here it was.
The whole episode started on one fine Monday. Baby was done with her nap and her body felt quite warm to me. Took her temperature, mild fever. She continued being her usual self, playing and all, just like her. That night she woke up once, crying, still with slightly high temperature and so we gave her a dose of paracetamol to ease her back to sleep.
Came Tuesday and her fever got worse. I had to ask Hubby for support back at home. Baby was cranky, not eager to move around and demanded to be carried all day. That late afternoon she had her first febrile seizures. We were thrown into a panic state, seeing her unconscious with both limbs stiff and twitching, and foams secreting from the mouth. We rushed her to the emergency right away, Baby was in delirium and I couldn’t help but cry through out the journey.
The diagnosis was a simple febrile fits/seizures (the word simple put us at rest greatly, really.) She, however, needed to be admitted because of her young age (below 18 months old). This was to ensure there would not be another episode of fits in the short span of time i.e. 48 hours. With nurses constantly checking on and paracetamol continuously given, she managed to clear the 48 hours fits free.
Now, having experienced the above, here are some take-away lessons for me:
1. Do away with unsound thermometer, you need to trust your motherly instinct.
The cause of the fits, in our case, was the body temperature rising to more than 39C. We did suspect her fever was way too high by feeling her body heat but the thermometer gave us 37.8C which we took as a more reliable data. When we realized that the gadget had gone wrong, it was already too late.
2. Sticking to natural remedies are all good but as in everything, always do it with discernment.
I had inhibitions for the use of fever-reducing medicine such as paracetamol and the likes which are feared to be hard on livers (especially on the young ones’). This was also one of the reasons why the fever went out of hand, we were slow with the paracetamol. But I will not be as hesitant the next time fever hits. It is not to say that over-the-counter-medicine is always the answer.It does, however, have a more immediate effect and when the situation demands for such promptness, it might be just the best option. Often, the benefits outweigh the risk. In our case, Baby ended up being constantly on paracetamol for almost the whole week as it is crucial to keep her temperature below 38C to avoid another episode of fits.
3. When fits hits, stay calm and pay attention to these things:
- Lay the child down on flat and soft surface such as mattress. Remove any tight clothing. Do not put anything into the child’s mouth as it can block the airway crucial for breathing. Don’t worry, tongue biting doesn’t happen in children.
- Time the duration of the fits, a simple febrile fits usually lasts for five minutes or less. If it is more than 10 minutes, it imposes some risk of damage on the brain. This is because fits causes breathing problem (breathing might be completely obstructed during the fits) which deprives the brain of oxygen.
- The twitching of both arms and legs, on both sides. A simple febrile fits will cause both limbs on both sides to twitch. One sided twitching of limbs could imply underlying problem with the brain or nerve.
- During a simple febrile fits, the eyes should be staring blankly in straight direction. They should not be rolling up or to either side.
- The child can be sponged during the fits in attempt to bring down the fever. Do it with lukewarm water and not ice cold water.
- If this is the first time the child experiences fits, call the doctor immediately. Febrile fits happens normally to children between 6 months to 6 years of age.
We were discharged from the hospital after staying for two nights. Her fever lasted for another three more days but was on the good trend of recovering. I have one active 15 month old back in the house now, still with runny nose and cough but happy. 🙂
Thank God really!