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New-onset Seizure In Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A seizure is an episode of abnormal brain activity that can cause jerky muscle movements, loss of consciousness, or confusion. The cause of your child's seizure may not be known. A seizure can be triggered by medicine, a head injury, a stroke, or exposure to alcohol or other toxins. In children younger than 6 years, a fever can sometimes trigger a seizure. This is called a febrile seizure.
Your child may need any of the following:
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may decrease your child's fever if he has a febrile seizure. These medicines are available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to give your child and how often to give it. Do not give aspirin to a child who is younger than 18 years to reduce a fever. He may develop a life-threatening illness called Reye syndrome. Reye syndrome can cause severe brain and liver damage.
- Anticonvulsants may be given to stop a seizure or to prevent another seizure.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider or pediatric neurologist as directed:
Your child may need more tests to find the cause of his seizure. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Safety measures after a seizure:
Your child may need to follow these safety measures for up to 12 months after his seizure. Ask for more information.
- Your child must take showers instead of baths.
- Your child must wear a helmet when he rides a bike, scooter, or skateboard.
- Do not let your child sleep on the top of a bunk bed.
- Do not let your child climb trees or rocks.
- Do not let your child lock his bedroom or bathroom door.
- Do not let your child swim without an adult who is informed about his condition.
- Tell your child's teachers and babysitters that he has had a seizure. Give them written instructions to follow if he has another seizure.
What to do if your child has another seizure:
- Help him lie down on a flat surface, and turn him onto his side or stomach. Do not try to hold or restrain your child.
- Gently remove any objects from your child's mouth.
- Do not place anything in your child's mouth. He cannot swallow his tongue.
- Loosen any tight clothing.
- Stay with your child until the seizure ends.
- Let him rest until he is fully awake.
- Time how long the seizure lasts. If it lasts 5 minutes or longer, take your child to the emergency department or call 911.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your child has another seizure.
- Your child has more than one seizure and is not conscious between seizures.
- Your child does not act normally after a seizure.
- Your child is very weak and tired, has a stiff neck, or cannot stop vomiting.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.