Also known as: convulsions, focal seizures, partial seizures, generalized seizures, epilepsy
What are seizures?
A seizure is a sudden abnormal burst of electrical activity in one or more parts of the brain from a variety of causes, that interrupt the normal brain signals and result in a wide variety of symptoms depending on from where the electrical signals originate.
The main types of seizures are focal (partial seizures) or generalized. Both are quite common in infants and children. When a child has recurrent seizures for which no cause can be found it’s diagnosed as epilepsy.
What causes seizures?
The most common type of seizure is associated with fever (often with a high temperature and called a febrile seizure). For many children with recurrent seizures the cause is unknown, though in some there is a family history of seizures. Other causes include:
And a wide variety of other uncommon conditions.
What are the signs/symptoms of seizures?
Depending on where in the brain the abnormal electrical activity originates, seizure symptoms will vary.
The common signs of seizures include:
changes in movement, body shaking uncontrollably with the muscles alternating between contraction and relaxation stiffness of limbs
loss of consciousness
loss of bowel or bladder control
rolling or rapid blinking of the eyes
drooling, grunting, clenching of teeth
bluish tinge to lips or tongue (cyanosis).
Some present with attention or changes in level of awareness. Most seizures pass within two minutes; seizures that last longer can be a medical emergency.
What are seizure care options for children?
First aid management includes preventing the child from harming themselves. Glasses should be removed, the child should be laid in a safe area on their side, unrestrained, and nothing should be placed in the child’s mouth. If the child stops breathing for more than 1 minute, mouth to mouth rescue resuscitation should be started, and/or if the seizure is prolonged, 911 should be called.
Management of recurrent seizures will involve management by a team of subspecialists with a wide variety of medical, surgical and other options available, depending on the specific needs of your child.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 8/3/2018 9:25:01 AM
This one day course will include educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions that highlight evidence-based information for managing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related disabilities for children ages birth to 5. Learn more.
Weekly Support Programs
This group therapy program is designed for children ages 7 to 17 with behaviorial issues, including but not limited to ADHD. This support group meets on Wednesdays. Learn more.
Knowing how to swim saves lives. Swimming and water safety lessons are offered by a trained instructor for babies as young as 6 months to adolescents up to 21 years. Learn more.
Calm Kids is a weekly group therapy course designed to teach children strategies on how to take control over anxiety symptoms. Children will learn how to cope with fears and worries, identify anxiety triggers, how to relax the mind and body and maximize their self-confidence. This group meets on Tuesdays. Learn more.
This eight-week program is specifically designed to empower children ages 7 to 18 through complex sensory experiences. Learn more.
This six-week program is designed for teens ages 13 to 16 experiencing difficulties related to sleep, including daytime sleepiness, trouble waking in the morning, difficulty falling asleep and waking in the middle of the night. Learn more.
Children and teens ages 7 to 17 are invited to join this small discussion group to learn how to make, cultivate and maintain friendships. Participants will learn basic conversational skills, and discuss the use of appropriate humor, how to electronically connect with others, and how to manage disagreements. Learn more.
Participants will learn to optimize neurological potential across the developing age and care continuum, to provide other treatment modalities to optimize results, to provide options for our patients and families, to provide options for our patients and families, and more! Learn more.
Yoga is a great way to get children active in a non- competitive environment. This one-day-a-week class is available for patients currently receiving therapy at one of our Nicklaus Children’s outpatient center locations, their siblings and children residing in our community. Learn more.
From the Newsdesk
Seeing a baby boy intubated, hooked up to a maze of machines, and with IV pumps snaking out of his tiny arms is an incredibly heartbreaking and terrifying experience. The Nicklaus Children’s staff was not only caring and friendly, but knowledgeable and explained everything to us in detail. Meeting the neurosurgery team brought us great comfort because they were confident and calm—they won our trust immediately.
Learn about Individual Education Plans with Dr. Reshma Naidoo, Neuropsychologist and Neurorehabilitation Specialist at Nicklaus Children's Hosptial.