What Are Seizures?
What Do Seizures Look Like?
- Seizures are sometimes called convulsions
- Seizures are a sign the electrical system in the brain is not working the way it should.
- Seizures may last from a few seconds to a few minutes. -When the seizure ends the brain works like before.
The child may have one or more of the following:
- JERKY MOVEMENT OF ONE OR BOTH ARMS OR LEGS: jerking may happen on one or both sides of the body and it does not stop if you gently hold the part that is jerking.
- EYE ROLLING: you can only see the white part of the eye. This can't be relied on if the child is asleep.
- FAST EYE BLINKING
- UNUSUAL CRY
- STIFF BODY: child becomes stiff with back arched, arms and legs held straight out
- LIP SMACKING, CHEWING OR SUCKING ACTION
- COLOR CHANGES: skin turns blue or pale and has any of the above or becomes very quiet and still
- STARING AND LOOKING AWAY: you will not be able to get his attention
- REPEATED MOVEMENTS THAT LOOK OUT OF PLACE OR UNNATURAL
- APNEA: child stops breathing (not a common sign of seizures)
Many of these activities look like things that all babies do, but seizures are DIFFERENT FROM YOUR CHILD'S NORMAL BEHAVIOR.! What Are Not Seizures?
JITTERY MOVEMENTS: last less than a minute and stop when you place your hand on the moving part. Often happen when you undress, unwrap, or fuss with your baby. Also may happen when an infant stretches or is startled.
QUICK JERKY MOVEMENTS: this may occur when your child is asleep or is falling asleep
EYE MOVEMENTS WHEN CHILD IS ASLEEP: this is normal behavior What Causes Seizures?
There are many causes for seizures, some common ones are:
Are Seizures Harmful?
- High fever
- Bleeding into the child's brain before birth or from a recent injury
- Poor oxygen supply to the brain before birth or due to some type of injury
- Birth defects involving the brain or nervous system
- Chemical problems in the blood, such as low blood sugar
- Infections in the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
- Frequently a cause cannot be found
Is There Medicine For Seizures?
- Seizures are very scary to watch, but are not usually life-threatening.
- Children usually breath during and after a seizure.
- The child may fall asleep or become very drowsy after a seizure He may be difficult to wake up.
- Seizures are not contagious as long as they are not caused by meningitis.
Several medications are used for seizures. Phenobarbital is one of the most common seizure medications used for children.
Always give the amount of medicine the doctor ordered. The doctor may decide to get a blood test to see how much medicine your child has in his body, and the dose is often adjusted as your child grows.
Do not stop the medicine without a doctor's order..Sudden stopping of the medicine can cause a seizure.
Phenobarb is habit forming, which means when you first start the medication your child may become sleepy after taking it. This effect will disappear after the child has been on the medicine for a couple of weeks. However, the medicine keeps its' effect for preventing seizures. Remember, it is not addicting, only habit forming!
Children may remain on seizure medicine for several years. The doctor will decide how long to continue the medicine.
This information is to be used as a guideline. Follow your doctors' specific instructions. What Should You Do If Your Child Has A Seizure?
Call Your Doctor If:
- Be calm!!!!!
- Lower the child to the floor if he is standing or sitting when a seizure occurs
- Turn the child on his side
- Do not put anything in his mouth. turning the child on his side will help prevent him from blocking his airway with his tongue
- Do not leave your child alone
- Do not try to stop him from jerking this will stop by itself and as long as the child is not hitting hard objects, the jerking will not hurt your child
- Do not give over-the-counter medicines or extra seizure medicine without your doctor's permission
- Call your child's doctor or the hospital emergency room
- Your baby becomes too sleepy to feed
- Develops a rash after taking the medicine