Seizures occur because there is a burst of electrical signals in the brain at once. This burst of electrical signals causes normal brain function to be interrupted.
What is it?
Seizures occur when the brain is overstimulated. There are many different types of seizures. Seizures can be local, affecting only one part of the brain, or generalized, affecting a large area of the brain. In children, most seizures that occur are febrile seizures. These seizures occur because of a severe fever due to illness. Epilepsy is a condition that is characterized by recurrent seizures and is one of the more common seizure disorders in adults. If a child has epilepsy, there is a 30% chance they will have the disorders as they transition into adulthood.
How to prepare?
After the child has their first seizure, it is important for the parent or guardian to bring their child to the emergency room. It is important to remember that usually after the first seizure doctors won’t prescribe any medications. Doctors aren’t completely sure after the first visit whether the patient had a seizure or experienced a condition similar to a seizure. This uncertainty makes it dangerous to prescribe medications. If another seizure occurs, call a doctor and set up an appointment. At the appointment, the doctor will conduct an interview and evaluate the child.
What happens during the process?
The evaluation will depend on the types of seizures being experienced. If the child experiences febrile seizures than a blood or urine test will be ordered. After, the doctor may call for a spinal tap. A spinal tap to check for meningitis. If the child experiences movement seizures, then there will be many tests performed on the child. To start the child will have his or her blood drawn. After a CT scan, will be used to look for any unusual cause for the seizures in the brain. Finally, an EEG is performed to measure the brain waves and electrical activity of the brain. Lastly if the child experiences absence seizures, the doctor will order an EEG. These typically occur in newborn children. If it is found that a child is experiencing absence seizures, then there will be a series of tests taking place to uncover the reason for the seizures. With absence seizures, it is important to know not to take the child to the emergency room. It is also good to know that the presence of absence seizures could mean the child has a cognitive disability.
If a child has a seizure disorder, there are a few preventative measures parents or guardians can take to ensure the safety of the child. Monitoring fever will help prevent any febrile seizures. Preventing any extra injuries that can occur and letting others know of the child’s condition will help a lot. For example, if a child is swimming, make sure a lifeguard is present and knows to keep an eye on the child. It is also important to remove all breakable objects around someone having a seizure to protect them from hurting themselves more.
Risk and complications:
Seizure disorders are eventually grown out of with age. As the brain matures the seizures stop for most people. Complications due to seizures occur when someone has a seizure in a dangerous place. It is important for a caretaker to make sure the surrounding area is safe for someone having a seizure and removes anything that could cause harm to the child.
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