(Disorder, Seizure—Child; Epilepsy—Child)
- Generalized seizure—activity occurs throughout the brain
- Partial seizure, also called a focal seizure—begins within certain areas of the brain
|Abnormal and excessive electrical activity in the brain.|
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- Aura—a sensation at the start of a seizure such as perception of an odd smell or sound, spots appearing in front of the eyes, or stomach sensations
- Staring, eye blinking, or eye rolling
- Loss of consciousness
- Repeated jerking of a single limb
- Uncontrollable jerking of muscles
- Hand rubbing, lip smacking, or picking at clothing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Drowsiness or confusion after a seizure
- Blood tests
- Lumbar puncture—to evaluate the cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
Other Lifestyle Changes
- Sleep deprivation
- Hormonal changes common during the menstrual cycle
- Flashing lights, such as strobe lights
- Use of certain medications or drugs
- Missing doses of anti-seizure medications
- Avoiding triggers
- Making sure anti-seizure medication is taken as prescribed
- Having your child get enough sleep
- Finding ways to help your child avoid hyperventilating, such as by doing deep breathing exercises and meditation
- Encourage your child to wear a medical alert bracelet. This will help people around your child understand what is happening if there is a seizure.
If your child’s condition is severe, take these steps to prevent serious injuries:
- Do not allow your child to swim or bathe alone.
- Do not have your child climb or play in areas where a serious fall could happen.
- Talk to the doctor to find out which activities are safe for your child. Certain sports may need to be avoided.
- Get prenatal care.
- Be sure that your child always wears a helmet when doing certain activities such as bike riding, skateboarding, and playing contact sports.
- Have your child wear seat belts or sit in a car seat when riding in a car.
- Teach your child never to dive into water. To be safe, your child should always go into the water feet first.
Epilepsy Foundation http://www.epilepsy.com
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Center for Epilepsy and Seizure Education http://epilepsy.cc
Epilepsy Ontario http://www.epilepsyontario.org
Epilepsy. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Epilepsy.aspx. Accessed September 15, 2015.
Growing up with epilepsy: activities, safety, and first aid. Massachusetts General Hospital website. Available at: http://www2.massgeneral.org/childhoodepilepsy/overview/index.htm. Updated November 20, 2006. Accessed September 15, 2015.
Living with epilepsy. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/23068986. Updated June 5, 2015. Accessed September 15, 2015.
Neal EG, Chaffe H, Schwartz RH, et al. The ketogenic diet for the treatment of childhood epilepsy: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Neurol. 2008 May 2. [Epub ahead of print]
Seizure in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 17, 2014. Accessed September 15, 2015.
Seizures. Boston Children's Hospital. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/health-topics/conditions/seizures. Updated 2010. Accessed September 15, 2015.
5/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Quet F, Guerchet M, Pion SD, Ngoungou EB, Nicoletti A, Preux PM. Meta-analysis of the association between cysticercosis and epilepsy in Africa. Epilepsia. 2010 ;51(5):830-837.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -