Skip to Content

Recurrent Seizures In Children

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What is a recurrent seizure?

A seizure is an episode of abnormal brain activity. A seizure can cause jerky muscle movements, loss of consciousness, or confusion. Recurrent means your child has a seizure more than once.

What causes a seizure?

The cause of your child's seizure may not be known. Your child may have a recurrent seizure if he does not take enough seizure medicine or misses a dose. A seizure may be caused by any of the following:

  • A head injury or a brain tumor
  • Certain medicines, such as general anesthetics
  • A stroke
  • Exposure to alcohol, drugs, or toxins
  • A fever or infection
  • An electrolyte imbalance or low blood sugar
  • Birth defects that affect the brain or nervous system

How is a recurrent seizure treated?

Your child may need seizure medicine if he does not already take it. If your child currently takes seizure medicine, the dose or type of medicine may need be changed. Your child may need therapy to help him manage stress and decrease his risk for another seizure. If your child's seizures cannot be controlled with medicine, he may need a special diet. The diet may be suggested by your healthcare provider and monitored by a nutritionist. Surgery may be needed to remove a tumor or fix a problem in your child's brain.

How can I manage my child's condition?

  • Keep a journal of your child's seizure activity. Write down how often he has a seizure. Include what he was doing before the seizure, and how he acted during the seizure. This information may help healthcare providers make changes to his medicine or decide if he needs other treatments.
  • Help your child identify triggers of a seizure. Many things can trigger a seizure. Examples include flashing lights or spending long periods of time on the computer. Identify triggers so that you can help keep your child away from them.
  • Help your child manage stress. Stress may increase your child's risk for a seizure. Ask your healthcare provider if your child needs therapy to help him manage and cope with stress. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and exercise. These actions may decrease stress and his risk for another seizure.
  • Feed your child foods recommended by his healthcare provider or nutritionist. Your child may need to follow this diet if medicine cannot control his seizures.

How can I keep my child safe?

Your child may need to follow these safety measures for up to 12 months after his seizure:

  • 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 had a seizure. Give them written instructions to follow if he has another seizure.

What should I do if my child has another seizure?

  • Do not panic.
  • Note the start time of the seizure. Record how long it lasts.
  • Gently guide your child to the floor or a soft surface. Cushion his head and remove sharp objects from the area around him.
    First Aid: Convulsions
  • Place your child on his side to help prevent him from swallowing saliva or vomit.
    First Aid: Convulsions
  • Loosen your child's clothing around the head and neck.
  • Remove any objects from your child's mouth. Do not put anything in your child's mouth. This may prevent him from breathing.
  • Perform CPR if your child stops breathing or you cannot feel his pulse.
  • Let your child sleep or rest after his seizure. He may be confused for a short time after his seizure. Do not give him anything to eat or drink until he is fully awake.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child stops breathing, turns blue, or you cannot feel his pulse.
  • Your child cannot be woken after his seizure.
  • Your child's seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • Your child has more than 1 seizure before he is fully awake or aware.
  • Your child has a seizure and is diabetic.
  • Your child has a seizure in the water.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your child does not act normally after a seizure.
  • Your child is very weak and tired, has a stiff neck, or cannot stop vomiting.
  • Your child is injured during a seizure.

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

  • Your child has a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

Hide