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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Seizures can take a wide variety of forms, depending in part on what part of the brain has the abnormal electrical activity. Many different diseases and injuries can cause children to have seizures. These include:
Often, however, the exact cause of seizures cannot be determined.
A child may have a wide variety of symptoms depending on his or her type of seizures. Some seizures are easy to recognize through signs like shaking or temporarily losing consciousness. Other seizures are so mild that you might not even recognize them as seizures: They might involve only a visual hallucination, for example, or a moment of very strong emotions. In some cases, seizures have no outward signs at all.
Some signs that your child may be experiencing seizures include:
Sometimes these symptoms can have a cause other than seizures. Further testing will help doctors confirm suspected seizures or find another condition that is causing the symptoms.
Just as the types of seizures vary greatly, so do the effects that they may have on your child. Seizures don’t necessarily harm the brain, but some seizures do cause damage.
The side effects of seizures, such as dramatic changes in behavior and personality, may remain even when your child isn’t actually having a seizure. In some cases, seizures are associated with long-term neurological conditions and problems with learning and behavior.
During the seizure itself, children may fall or get injured. It’s important to stay with your child during a seizure. Gently ease the child to the floor if sitting or standing, turn her on her side in case of vomiting and remove any surrounding hard objects.
Learn more on emergency care for seizures.
Seizures may leave your child exhausted. Unfortunately, just as troubling as the physical complications, seizures can also cause embarrassment and social isolation.
Children experience many different types of seizures. They include:
Focal seizures may last less than a minute and have different symptoms depending on which area of the brain is involved. They usually affect the muscles, causing a variety of abnormal movements that are limited to one muscle group, such as the fingers or the larger muscles in the arms and legs.
If the abnormal activity is in the brain’s occipital lobe, your child may experience changes in vision. Your child may experience sweating or nausea or become pale but will not lose consciousness.
Focal seizures may be associated with altered consciousness. Your child can experience a variety of behaviors, such as gagging, lip smacking, running, screaming, crying or laughing. After the seizure, during what’s called the postictal period, your child may feel tired.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”