The part of the brain that controls temperature doe not fully develop in a child until around the age of four. Unfortunately this means that when a child under four develops a temperature (above 38 ⁰C) whilst unwell their core temperature may rise rapidly and significantly, this may lead to seizures. These seizure are called Febrile convulsions.

Febrile convulsions are most common in children between the ages of one and four but can occur anywhere between six months and six years old.

The use of Paracetamol and ibuprofen at the correct dose works well to manage a temperature

Treatment

  • → Protect the child from injury during the seizure but do not restrain them
  • → Remove clothing, down to nappy or knickers is best and air the room to cool the area that they are in if needed but don’t make them cold.
  • → When the seizure stops check that normal breathing has resumed
  • → When breathing normally place the child into the recovery position or support them on their side until they become fully conscious
  • → Call for help

Fainting

Fainting is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness that usually results in a fall. Healthcare professionals often use the term ‘syncope’ when referring to fainting because it distinguishes fainting from other causes of temporary unconsciousness, such as seizures (fits) or concussion.

In most cases of fainting, the person who has fainted regains consciousness within a minute or two.

Causes of fainting:

  • → Standing still for a long time
  • → Emotional stress
  • → Over heating
  • → Low blood pressure
  • → Dehydration
  • → Being generally unwell
  • → Diarrhoea & vomiting

 

Just before fainting they may have the following symptoms:

  • → Yawning
  • → A sudden, clammy sweat
  • → Nausea (feeling sick)
  • → Fast, deep breathing
  • → Confusion
  • → Feeling light-headed
  • → Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
  • → Ringing in your ears

Once the person has collapsed the head is on the same level as the heart, this corrects the temporary lack of blood to the brain and results in the person regaining consciousness quickly.

Treatment:

If you feel faint, someone complains of feeling faint, they should lie down and if possible raise the legs a little.  If it’s not possible to lie down then sitting down with the head between the knees will help. You can assist a person to the floor or into a chair.

If a person faints and does not regain consciousness within one or two minutes, you should put them into the recovery position. If the person faints and hurt themselves or doesn’t seem to be improving you should monitor their condition and ring 999 for an ambulance.