Understanding and Managing Childhood Epilepsy

Understanding Managing

and Health

Epilepsy is a serious and often misunderstood neurological disorder that affects 1 in every 26 people in America and can be experienced by children as young as three months old. Epilepsy can have serious impacts on a child’s development, learning, and physical and mental health, making understanding and managing it especially important for parents and caregivers.

What is Epilepsy in Children?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and is characterized by recurring seizures. It is caused by abnormal electrical signals in the brain, which can cause a person to experience odd physical or mental sensations, or cause their muscles to tense in an uncontrolled way. In children, epilepsy can further worsen as they grow due to hormonal changes, or it can improve as the child gets older.

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Diagnosis of Epilepsy in Children

The diagnosis of epilepsy in children is based on a medical evaluation of their symptoms and a history of seizures. Your child’s doctor may require a series of examinations to determine if their episodes of seizure are indicative of epilepsy and not some other condition. Common exams for diagnosing childhood epilepsy include an electroencephalogram (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and blood tests.

Symptoms of Epilepsy in Children

Children with epilepsy may experience a wide variety of symptoms that can be physical, mental, or emotional. Some of the most common symptoms of childhood epilepsy include:

  • Episodes of Unusual Behaviour: Children with epilepsy may display episodes of unusual behaviour prior to or during a seizure, such as confusion, restlessness, or repetitive jerking motions.
  • Frequent Headaches: Headaches are a common symptom of epilepsy in children and can precede a seizure.
  • Sudden Changes in Mood: Children with epilepsy may experience sudden changes in mood or feelings of fear or confusion.
  • Loss of Consciousness: Children with epilepsy may temporarily lose consciousness or be unresponsive.

Treatment of Epilepsy in Children

Treatment of childhood epilepsy is important to ensure that your child’s symptoms are managed so they can lead a healthy and active life. Treatment typically consists of a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, diet changes, and other treatments. Common medications prescribed to treat childhood epilepsy include anti-epileptic drugs, antispasmodic drugs, and certain antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

Managing Epilepsy in Children

Managing epilepsy in children is an important part of helping them live a healthy and productive life. Parents and caregivers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of epilepsy in children and consult a doctor about available treatments. In addition, parents should make sure to provide a safe environment for their child by keeping dangerous items away from them, and make sure that their school and extracurricular activities have an Epilepsy Action Plan in place.

Conclusion

Childhood epilepsy is a serious neurologic disorder that can have serious impacts on development, learning, and physical and mental health. It is important for parents and caregivers to understand and manage childhood epilepsy to ensure that their child is able to live a healthy life.

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