What is it?
Fever fits refer to the convulsions some children experience as the result of a high temperature. Fever fits occur most commonly between the ages of six months and five years.
Symptoms: The child becomes unconscious and the arms and legs are stiff. After a few seconds the arms and legs, and sometimes the face, start to twitch and jerk. The movements may be violent. The fit usually last for about two minutes. Urine and farces may be passed during the fit. During the next few minutes the child slowly regains consciousness. The child may be irritable and complain of a headache. Soon after this, the child will sleep for several hours. On walking, the child will be fully recovered, apart from the continued symptoms of the illness causing the fever. Temperature over 41°C is a medical emergency.
Causes: Fever, Infections and Heat stroke (rare)
Treatment in the home: Stay calm; Lay the child on his side, do not attempt top prise open hi jaws, or to restrain the automatic movements, cool the child down by removing excessive clothing, opening the windows and switching on an electric fan. Do not give the child any medication, as it will not reduce this type of fever.
IF THE CONVULSIONS LAST FOR MORE THAN 5 MINUTES, SUMMON AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY.
Possible complications: Metabolic disturbances, Organ damage (rare) Death
When to consult a doctor: A child who has suffered a fever fit for the first time, should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, i.e. within minutes or at most, a few hours.
What the doctor may do: Identify the reason for the fever and start treatment. If the cause of the fever is not apparent, the child may be admitted to hospital. In a hospital, investigative medical tests will be done to establish the cause of the fever.