Seizures Without Fever (Epilepsy)
Most seizures without fever occur in children already known to have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a recurrent seizure disorder. Most of these seizures last less than 5 minutes. Most children with epilepsy take an anti-seizure medicine called an anticonvulsant. Break-through seizures can still occur until the proper dosage is determined.
If your child has epilepsy, here's what you can do if one occurs:
- First: Protect your child's airway. If anything is visible in the mouth, clear it with a finger to prevent choking. If breathing becomes noisy or the lips become bluish, bring the jaw forward by pulling from behind the corner of the jaw bone on each side. This will automatically bring the tongue forward and open the airway. If your child vomits, place him on his side or face-down to help drain secretions. If available, use a suction bulb to help clear the mouth.
- Second: Don't try to force anything into your child's mouth. This is unnecessary and can cut the mouth, injure a tooth, cause vomiting, or result in a serious bite of your finger. Also, bites of the tongue are rare and harmless.
- Third: Don't try to resuscitate your child just because breathing stops momentarily for 5 to 10 seconds. Instead, try to clear the airway. Breathing never looks normal during the seizure, but it's adequate if the color is not bluish.
- Finally: There is no need to bring a child with known epilepsy to an emergency room for every seizure. After the seizure is over, let your child sleep if he wishes. The brain is temporarily exhausted, and sleep can restore it to its normal state. While asleep, check your child frequently for any breathing problems. Call your healthcare provider immediately for further instructions.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.