Whilst on holiday hubbie and I had the biggest scare of our lives, I have decided to write about it to try and come to terms with it all, otherwise I will replay the moment again and again in my head. Hopefully this post will help make more people aware about it.
I knew fits happened from high temperature (although I had no idea what like looked like) and was like a woman possessed for keeping them down for this reason, windows would be opened, quilts exchanged for thin sheets, calpol given at regular intervals… but on holiday the day before youngest had seemed fine, he had enjoyed a fun packed day at Greenwood, we then went swimming when we got back to our caravan park. In the night he stirred so I put him in bed with us, I did not want him to wake eldest as they were sharing a room. He was being cheeky but did not appear ill.
I awoke around 5am and then my heart sank, the blood drained from my face, seeing my youngest, my little baby having a fit… I did not know what to think, it honestly looked like he was dying, it was horrible to watch, I hope most of you avoid seeing it (although sadly the statistics say one in thirty children have one before the age of 5). His arms and legs were flaying, his tongue rolled differently in his mouth and his eyes rolled upwards . The fit seemed to go on forever, time stood still but in reality hubbie says it was less than a minute. We rang the ambulance and were rushed straight in.
It transpired after a number of tests he had tonsillitis (worryingly this was only found after the THIRD doctor examined inside his mouth!) and his temperature had spiked.
They gave me a leaflet at the hospital that helped; it says what to do in case of another fit, as sadly the odds are higher after the first (between 3 or 4 out of 10 children will have another). It explained how even though the fit looks awful children generally recover quickly with no lasting consequences. Children are unconscious so have no memory of the experience; so as traumatic as it is for the parents, the main thing is your little ones have no knowledge of what happened. I know this is true, as when he was playing the next night with his brother in our bed, he seemed quite happy, laughing and saying he liked our bedroom. All I kept doing was having a mini panic attack when he was in almost the same position on the bed again. But I did not show my alarm to him.
If your child does have a fit the leaflet tells you to wait for the convulsion to stop do not shake them, just make sure they are in a safe position so nothing can hurt them. They should lay flat on their side with their head at the same level as their body. We did not know this so did not change his position luckily he was in bed so surrounded by softness and did not hurt himself. The risk of fits falls after the age three, so I am praying it does not happen again.