Parental reactions to febrile seizures in Malaysian children
The Medical journal of Malaysia
The reactions of 117 parents to the febrile seizure experienced by their children; and their fears and worries were investigated. A standard questionnaire was used and clinical information was abstracted from the notes. In 88.9% of the cases, the adult present at the seizure was one of the parents usually the mother. Most of the parents (66.7%) did tepid sponging to bring the fever down but a third tried to open the clenched teeth of the child. The adults present placed the child supine in
... hild supine in 62.9%, on the side in 9.5% and prone in 6.0%. Over half of the parents brought the child to a private clinic first before bringing to hospital. A fifth of the children were given antipyretics by the parent or the doctor and an anticonvulsant was given in 7.7% of cases. Interestingly, in 12% of children traditional treatment was given for the seizure. Three quarters of the parents knew that the febrile seizure was caused by high fever (which we have taken as the correct knowledge of febrile seizure). However "ghosts" and "spirits" were blamed as the cause of the seizure by 7% of parents. Factors significantly associated with correct knowledge were higher parental education and higher family income. The most common fear expressed was that the child might be dead or might die from the seizure (70.9%). Fear of death was associated with low paternal education. We concluded that the majority of our parents had reacted appropriately to a febrile seizure and their knowledge of the cause of febrile seizure was generally correct. Their fears and worries were similar to those elsewhere. However, traditional beliefs and practices may have to be taken into consideration during counselling.