Many children will have a convulsion during their early years. In fact, about five percent have one or more bouts, usually between the ages of six months and four years. They become much rarer as the child grows, and after age six are fairly uncommon.
The majority of convulsions are due to mild infections producing elevated temperatures. Indeed, babies tend to swing quickly from a normal to a feverish temperature. The brain can become temporarily over-heated. In susceptible cases, this can lead to a convulsion.
Fortunately, only about five cases out of every hundred of those having one or more fits in babyhood have any problems in later adult life.
Most convulsions are self-limiting, and the infant comes to no harm. However, it is a very frightening sight, especially when seen in a baby for the first time.
Best procedure is to lie baby on his side, and gently push the jaw forward. Trying to open the mouth with pegs or padded spoon may assist in keeping the airway open. But it can be difficult; care must be taken not to injure the child.
Some people find sponging baby with a cold washer helpful. It may lessen the fever and so minimize the period of convulsion.
Recurring convulsions need expert investigation. Even a simple one is best checked by the doctor, and treatment for the underlying cause begun.