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Recurrent Seizures In Children


A seizure is an episode of abnormal brain activity that can cause jerky muscle movements, loss of consciousness, or confusion. Recurrent means your child has a seizure more than once. The cause of your child's seizures may not be known. Recurrent seizures may occur if your child does not take antiseizure medicine as directed. A seizure can be triggered by medicine, a head injury, a tumor, 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 the following:

  • Antiseizure medicine is given to prevent seizures. Do not stop giving your child this medicine. Your child may need blood tests to check the level of medicine in his blood. His primary healthcare provider may need to change or adjust his medicine.
  • 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 help find the cause of his seizures. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Safety measures after a seizure:

You may need to follow these safety measures for up to 12 months after your child's 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 bunkbed.
  • Do not let your child climb trees, rocks, or mountains.
  • 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.
  • Do not place anything in your child's mouth. He cannot swallow his tongue. Gently remove any objects from your child's mouth.
  • 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:

  • Your child has seizures even with treatment.
  • Your child picks at his clothes, smacks his lips, or fidgets, but does not seem to be aware of his actions.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child has a seizure that lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • Your child has more than one seizure and is not conscious between seizures.
  • Your child does not wake up after a seizure.
  • 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.