Heat convulsions in children – Sage
English name: Febrile seizures
Other names: febrile seizures
What are heat cramps?
Heat cramps are defined as convulsions that occur in children from 6 months to 5 years of age with a temperature of more than 38°C. It is stipulated that there is no inflammation in the nervous system such as meningitis, the absence of other diseases associated with convulsions such as epilepsy, and no previous convulsions without a high temperature.
These cramps usually occur on the first day of the disease, and are usually associated with a sudden rise in temperature.
Through this article, you can learn more about epilepsy and epileptic seizures.
What are the types of heat cramps?
1. Minor spasms
It is the most common and common type, and it is a type of generalized convulsions. During a seizure, the child loses consciousness, contractions occur in the face, with stiffness and shaking in the hands and feet, after which the child feels tired and sleepy. The seizure usually lasts only a few minutes, but it may extend to 15 minutes, and the seizures do not recur within 24 hours.
2. Complex spasms
This term is used if the seizure lasts more than 15 minutes, if the minor seizure recurs within 24 hours of the first seizure, or if the seizure is of a focal type, after which the child may feel temporary weakness in his hands and feet.
What is the treatment for heat cramps?
In the event of these convulsions, you must go to the doctor immediately to make sure that the convulsions stop, and until the child’s condition is evaluated.
After the convulsive seizure stops and the child’s temperature is lowered, the doctor starts taking his medical history and conducting a clinical examination to find out the cause of the high temperature, especially to ensure that there are no indications of inflammation of the brain membranes (meninges), and also to determine whether there is a need for laboratory tests, and to determine the necessary treatment.
If the seizure stops within a few minutes automatically and there are no risk factors, the child does not necessarily need to be admitted to the hospital, and the doctor does not usually use long-term anti-convulsant medications.
In the following article, everything related to dealing with a high temperature in children.
What is the mechanism of its occurrence?
There is no exact explanation for the mechanism or cause of these spasms.
Is there a specific temperature at which these cramps occur?
No, these convulsions may occur at any temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius, even if the same child’s heat convulsions are repeated, they may occur at different temperatures. But usually these cramps occur when the temperature rises suddenly.
What is the probability of recurrence of heat cramps?
The occurrence of heat cramps in a child increases the possibility of them occurring again, but it is not necessary that heat cramps occur every time the temperature of that child rises.
The possibility of recurrence of heat cramps increases in the following cases:
- At ages less than 15 months.
- Having a family history of heat cramps or epilepsy.
- The short period between the onset of the fever and the onset of convulsions.
- Heat cramp occurs at a slightly elevated temperature.
How can recurrence of heat cramps be prevented?
In general, long-term antispasmodics are not prescribed in cases of heat cramps, because the side effects of these drugs are more dangerous than the recurrence of heat cramps. However, in some cases, the doctor may prefer to use these medications because there are factors that increase the risk of recurrence of heat cramps or complications resulting from them.
Using an antipyretic to prevent a rise in temperature (for example, in the event of a cold and the absence of a rise in temperature) does not necessarily reduce the possibility of heat cramps.
What should I do if a heat cramp occurs at home?
- Keep the child away from any source of danger.
- Put the child in a side sleeping position to keep the airway open.
- Do not try to stop the convulsions or put anything in the child’s mouth.
- Determine when the seizure started because seizures that last more than 5 minutes need immediate intervention and treatment.
- For children who are prone to recurring seizures, parents should be taught how to use an anti-convulsant at home before arriving at the emergency center. It is a gel placed in the anus and usually a single dose is sufficient to control these seizures.
Note: A child’s high temperature is usually useful for increasing the body’s ability to resist microbes. Therefore, you must confirm with the doctor before using antipyretics. In the following article, we explain the parents’ extreme fear of a high temperature in their children, and the negative impact this has on the child’s health.