Information about the diagnosis and treatment of childhood epilepsy and how The brain is made up of millions of nerve cells that use electrical signals to. Only some of the 20 or so medications used to treat seizures have been approved by the FDA for use in children. Legally, your doctor may. Seizures in Children - Learn about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis Electroencephalography is used to diagnose the disorder, and blood and urine tests.
in Childhood Seizures Use
Within these categories, there are several different types of seizures in children, including:. Focal seizures take place when abnormal electrical brain function occurs in one or more areas of one side of the brain. Focal seizures may also be called partial seizures. With focal seizures, particularly with complex focal seizures, the child may experience an aura before the seizure occurs.
The most common aura involves feelings such as deja vu, impending doom, fear, or euphoria. Visual changes, hearing abnormalities, or changes in the sense of smell can also be auras. Two types of partial seizures include:. The child may show different symptoms depending upon which area of the brain is involved. If the abnormal electrical brain function is in the occipital lobe the back part of the brain that is involved with vision , the child's sight may be altered. However, more commonly, a child's muscles are affected.
The seizure activity is limited to an isolated muscle group, such as fingers or to larger muscles in the arms and legs. Consciousness is not lost in this type of seizure. The child may also experience sweating, nausea, or become pale.
This type of seizure commonly occurs in the temporal lobe of the brain, the area of the brain that controls emotion and memory function. This seizure usually lasts one to two minutes. Consciousness is usually lost during these seizures. Losing consciousness may not mean that a child passes out--sometimes, a child stops being aware of what's going on around him or her. The child may look awake but have a variety of behaviors. When the child regains consciousness, he or she may complain of being tired or sleepy after the seizure.
This is called the postictal period. Generalized seizures involve both sides of the brain. There is loss of consciousness and a postictal state after the seizure occurs. Types of generalized seizures include the following:.
Absence seizures also called petit mal seizures. These seizures are characterized by a brief altered state of consciousness and staring episodes. Typically the child's posture is maintained during the seizure. The mouth or face may move or the eyes may blink. The seizure usually lasts no longer than 30 seconds.
When the seizure is over, the child may not recall what just occurred and may go on with his or her activities, acting as though nothing happened. These seizures may occur several times a day.
This type of seizure is sometimes mistaken for a learning problem or behavioral problem. Absence seizures almost always start between ages 4 to 12 years. Atonic also called drop attacks. With atonic seizures, there is a sudden loss of muscle tone and the child may fall from a standing position or suddenly drop his or her head. During the seizure, the child is limp and unresponsive. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures also called grand mal seizures.
The classic form of this kind of seizure, which may not occur in every case, is characterized by five distinct phases.
The body, arms, and legs will flex contract , extend straighten out , tremor shake , a clonic period contraction and relaxation of the muscles , followed by the postictal period. Not all of these phases may be seen with every one of this type of seizure. During the postictal period, the child may be sleepy, have problems with vision or speech, and may have a bad headache, fatigue, or body aches.
This type of seizure refers to quick movements or sudden jerking of a group of muscles. These seizures tend to occur in clusters, meaning that they may occur several times a day, or for several days in a row. This rare type of seizure disorder occurs in infants from before six months of age.
There is a high occurrence rate of this seizure when the child is awakening, or when they are trying to go to sleep. The infant usually has brief periods of movement of the neck, trunk, or legs that lasts for a few seconds. Infants may have hundreds of these seizures a day. This can be a serious problem, and can have long-term complications. This type of seizure is associated with fever and is not epilepsy, although a fever may trigger a seizure in a child who has epilepsy. These seizures are more commonly seen in children between 6 months and 5 years of age and there may be a family history of this type of seizure.
Febrile seizures that last less than 15 minutes are called simple, and typically do not have long-term neurological effects. Seizures lasting more than 15 minutes are called complex and there may be long-term neurological changes in the child. A child may experience one or many different types of seizures. While the exact cause of the seizure may not be known, the more common seizures are caused by the following:.
The child may have varying degrees of symptoms depending on the type of seizure. The following are general symptoms of a seizure or warning signs that your child may be experiencing seizures. Symptoms or warning signs may include:. Nodding the head rhythmically, when associated with loss of awareness or even loss of consciousness. During the seizure, the child's lips may become bluish and breathing may not be normal. The movements are often followed by a period of sleep or disorientation.
The symptoms of a seizure may resemble other problems or medical conditions. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis. The full extent of the seizure may not be completely understood immediately after onset of symptoms, but may be revealed with a comprehensive medical evaluation and diagnostic testing. The diagnosis of a seizure is made with a physical examination and diagnostic tests.
Seizures may be due to neurological problems and require further medical follow up. A procedure that records the brain's continuous, electrical activity by means of electrodes attached to the scalp. Magnetic resonance imaging MRI. A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays. Lumbar puncture spinal tap. A special needle is placed into the lower back, into the spinal canal. This is the area around the spinal cord. The pressure in the spinal canal and brain can then be measured. A small amount of cerebral spinal fluid CSF can be removed and sent for testing to determine if there is an infection or other problems.
CSF is the fluid that bathes your child's brain and spinal cord. The goal of seizure management is to control, stop, or decrease the frequency of the seizures without interfering with the child's normal growth and development.
The major goals of seizure management include the following:. There are many types of medications used to treat seizures and epilepsy. Medications are selected based on the type of seizure, age of the child, side effects, the cost of the medication, and the adherence with the use of the medication. Medications used at home are usually taken by mouth as capsules, tablets, sprinkles, or syrup , but some can be given rectally into the child's rectum.
If the child is in the hospital with seizures, medication by injection or intravenous IV may be used. It is important to give your child his or her medication on time and as prescribed by your child's doctor. Different people use up the medication in their body differently, so adjustments schedule and dosage may need to be made for good control of seizures. All medications can have side effects, although some children may not experience side effects.
Discuss your child's medication side effects with his or her doctor. While your child is taking medications, different tests may be done to monitor the effectiveness of the medication. What is a seizure? Seizures are caused by a short change in the normal electrical activity in the brain.
With treatment, most children with epilepsy lead a fairly normal life. Learn about causes, what to do during seizures and how to help avoid epileptic fits. Febrile convulsions are seizures caused by fever. Symptoms include stiffness, jerkiness or unconsciousness. These convulsions usually arent serious. Children with epilepsy generally have seizures that respond well to medication, and they enjoy a normal and active childhood.
If your childs temperature is higher than 38C, its probably a fever. A fever is a sign of illness. Heres what to do when your child has a fever. What is a breath-holding spell? Epilepsy Action Australia provides an innovative, high quality service across Australia for people with epilepsy.
Contact us via phone 37 45 37 or email epilepsy epilepsy. In the meantime, we will continue to update and add content to Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to meet your information needs. This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.
The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.
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Access information to help you navigate the aged care system Visit My Aged Care. A great place to start for support and services Visit Carer Gateway. General health Pregnancy and parenting Aged care Caring for someone. Seizures in children Print. After a seizure has ended, roll them on their side and make sure they are breathing normally.
Seizures can also be described by the symptoms they cause. What causes seizures in infants and children? Children can also have a seizure because of: What should I do if my child has a seizure?
If your child has a seizure, you should stay calm and: Treatments for seizures in children Following any seizure, perform first aid. Can seizures be prevented? Your child should avoid anything that is known to trigger their seizures. Risks and complications of seizures Most children recover well after a seizure, although they might be sleepy and confused for a short while.
What help is available? Epilepsy Action Australia First aid. Opens in a new window. Epilepsy Action Australia A question of risk — life, death and epilepsy. Epilepsy Australia Epilepsy explained. Raising Children Network Epilepsy and seizures. Raising Children Network Febrile convulsions.
Seizures and Epilepsy in Children
This article will discuss the most common types of seizures and tests used in children who have seizures. Articles about seizure treatment and. Seizures in children have many causes. Common causes of childhood seizures or epilepsy include fever (these are called febrile seizures) genetic causes head . Population-based estimates suggest that every year children in the United States experience a first unprovoked seizure. Using.