Background and Aims Febrile convulsions are the most common seizure disorder in childhood, affecting 2–5% of children between the ages of 3 and 60 months. It is a frightening and anxiety-provoking event for parent and caregivers. The initial management of this condition is often poor in rural setting in third world countries.
Aims To assess the factors affecting the initial management of children with febrile convulsions.
Methods A prospective study interviewing parents of 20 children with febrile convulsions admitted to a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Results 19 mothers and 2 fathers of children with febrile convulsions were interviewed. Only 1 parent knew what a febrile convulsion was. 50% initially managed their children by massaging oil onto the back. 60% of the children were seen by a local religious healer. 90% of parents believed their child was possessed by an evil spirit. 50% thought their children will die. 60% of the parents had been educated up to only primary school level. 90% reported their local hospital to be 10 miles away.
Conclusions The education level, religious beliefs and location of nearest hospital significantly affected the way parents initially manage their children with febrile convulsions. It is important in third world countries that media methods such as television, radio and newspapers are used to discuss management of common conditions to avoid inappropriate treatments by parents. Leaflets should also be made available to collect from local shops and family physicians.
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