Seizures in children and babies

What are the signs and symptoms of a seizure?

Seizures can present in many different ways:

  • Involuntary twitching
  • Sudden change in consciousness
  • Unusual eye movements
  • A vacant stare
  • Numbness or inability to use a certain part of the body
  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions
  • There may be associated incontinence of urine or stool

What causes a seizure?

A seizure results from abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. These abnormal discharges in the brain cause the signs and symptoms mentioned above.

What is a febrile seizure?

This is a seizure that is caused by a high fever. Most cases of febrile seizures are harmless and resolve after age 5. Your doctor may recommend using fever-reducing medications.

When can I treat a seizure at home?

A healthcare professional should assess any child who has a seizure, unless your own physician specifically advises you otherwise. Always begin the initial first aid measures as described below immediately

First aid measures

  • Remain calm. Do not panic
  • Place your child on the floor in an area that is safe
  • Remove any objects around your child to make the area safe
  • Loosen tight clothing, especially around the neck, head or face
  • When the seizure stops, roll your child onto his side
  • Seek medical attention once the seizure stops.

Call 911 immediately if any of the following are present:

  • Change in skin color, especially blueness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Any history of head injury, present or past
  • If you suspect your child may have ingested or has been exposed to a poison
  • If your child has a heart problem
  • If your child appears unwell
  • If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes
  • If you are concerned for any other reason

What not to do

  • Do not try to put anything in a child’s mouth while he is having a seizure.
  • Do not try to forcibly stop any seizure movements.
  • Do not give your child anything to eat or drink right after a seizure. There is a period immediately following a seizure called the “post-ictal” period. In this state your child may be sleepy and trying to swallow anything may lead to choking.

You may also like...

First aid links

Leave a Reply