The day started out normally like any other day would have started out. We ate breakfast, continued unpacking boxes as we had moved into our house the weekend before. My daughter, Kendall, was a little clingier than usual. I chalked it up to the excitement and change from living in a new house. Let me tell you, one handed unpacking takes about ten times longer than being able to use both arms so the unpacking job was put on the back burner. I started making lunch, Kendall sat at the bar top in her secured chair. She was fine, she looked a little dazed but like I said before, she was tired from the big move.
I was chatting on the phone with my husband, asking him where the thermometer was because Kendall felt really warm when I had put her into her high chair. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the dazed look on Kendall fade to something even more hazy. Quickly getting off of the phone with my hubby, I scooped her up into my arms and then she fussed, pointing at the ground. “Okay,” I thought, “I’ll put her down.” That’s when it happened.
There Kendall laid on the floor, face down, her tiny body tremmoring. “Oh my gosh!” I yelled, “Brennan! Get the phone for me!” My four year old son, Brennan, obediently handed the phone to me and I dialed 9-1-1. Hands shaking, tears welling up in my eyes, all the while holding my sweet girl as she seized in my arms. Her eyes were rolling in the back of her head, her hands were contorted and then her lips started turning blue. I think it only lasted for a minute but that minute felt like an hour. The doorbell rang and first responders were there.
That day was my introduction to a little blip in the road called febrile seizures. Now, contrary to what you may think, the temperature of a fever does not have to be excessively high for a seizure to come on. What sets up this “perfect storm” (so to speak) is how rapidly the body’s temperature spikes. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Approximately one in every 25 children will have at least one febrile seizure, and more than one-third of these children will have additional febrile seizures before they outgrow the tendency to have them.”
Although it’s one of the most terrifying things you’ll witness your child go through during his or her toddler years, the seizure itself is pretty harmless. In most cases it lasts for one to two minutes. The best course of action if your child does experience this is to clear the area and watch to ensure that you child doesn’t harm himself or anyone around him. You do not want to do what I did and pick up your child; looking back I can see how that was really not a wise decision. Most febrile seizures come on at the onset of the fever and occur in children ages six months up to six years of age. One febrile seizure occurrence is also not a precursor to a more serious diagnosis such as epilepsy. Children who have had a febrile seizures are more prone to subsequent ones, however, the risk is raised if the child’s first seizure was before the age of 15 months.
By the way, Kendall’s completely fine. Brennan, for the longest time, reenacted what happened that day for everyone to watch. Just stay calm mama, it’s going to be scary, but everything will be okay.
Have any of your kids had febrile seizures before?