|Abnormal and excessive electrical activity in the brain.|
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- Conditions like epilepsy
- An injury or trauma to the head
- Infections, including meningitis and abscesses in the brain
- Brain tumor
- Accidental poisoning
Certain medical conditions, including:
- Low blood sugar
- Very high fever (especially in children)—called febrile seizures
- Electrolyte abnormalities
- Congenital diseases or deformities
- Having had a previous seizure
- Having a very high fever
Having health conditions like:
- Brain tumors
- Brain infections
- Having a family history of seizures.
- Staring, or a dazed look
- Jerking movements of the limbs and/or body (convulsions)
- Difficulty breathing
- Eyes rolling back in the head
- Crying or moaning
- Protect from physical injury—Place your child on the floor or bed. Make sure they are not near any hard or sharp objects.
- Protect airway—Do not place anything in your child's mouth during the convulsion. Turn your child’s head to the side. This will allow saliva or vomit to drain from the mouth.
- Watch the time—The length of the convulsions should be less than five minutes.
- Unless the doctor has told you otherwise, call 911.
- Lumbar puncture —removal of a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for testing to look for infection in brain or spinal cord
- Blood tests—to look for infections, low blood sugar, abnormal electrolytes, or poison
- CT scan of the head —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the head
- MRI scan of the head —a test that uses magnetic energy to make pictures of structures inside the head
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) —a test that records the brain’s activity by measuring electrical currents through the brain
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org/
British Columbia Ministry of Health http://www.bchealthguide.org
Epilepsy Ontario http://www.epilepsyontario.org
Febrile seizure. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated July 11, 2012. Accessed July 20, 2012.
Hogan T. Seizure disorders in childhood. Loyola University Medical Education Network website. Available at: http://www.meddean.luc.edu/lumen/MedED/pedneuro/epilepsy.htm. Accessed July 20, 2012.
Neonatal seizures. Intensive Care Nursery Staff House Manual. The University of California San Francisco Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.ucsfhealth.org/childrens/health%5Fprofessionals/manuals/48%5FSeizures.pdf. . Accessed July 20, 2012.
Seizure in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated April 9, 2012. Accessed July 20, 2012.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -