Convulsion is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal, rapid, repeated and involuntary contractions of the muscles in the body. During convulsions, a person shakes uncontrollably because the person’s muscles are contracting and relaxing repeatedly. Convulsions happen because of sudden, abnormal activity in the brain.
This condition is common among babies and toddlers and can be a terrifying experience for parents. Symptoms of convulsion in a child include: teeth clenching, stiffening, eyes rolled back, and unconsciousness.
Convulsions in children can be as a result of a fever, head injury, epilepsy and sudden light flashes. Also, a child is more likely to experience convulsions if a member of the family had convulsions when he/she was a toddler.
Convulsions usually last for few minutes. Convulsions can also be either partial, affecting a part of the body, or generalized, involving the whole body. When a child is convulsing, these are the basic steps that should be taken:
• Place the child on a soft surface and ensure she is lying on her side or back
• Do not restrain the child
• Do not put your fingers, a spoon or any object inside the child’s mouth. The child would not choke or swallow her tongue
• If she has a high fever, do not attempt to bathe her while convulsing. It is extremely dangerous
• Watch carefully while she convulses and time the period it lasts. If it is more or less than five minutes visit the doctor immediately the episode ends.
Ensure that you do not panic or worry. Most children eventually grow out of it at a particular age and remain healthy and strong.
While nothing can be done to prevent convulsions, it would be helpful to regularly check a child’s temperature and take appropriate actions when there is a fever.