A seizure is abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It may be mild or severe and cause problems, such as jerking motions of the limbs or body. It can be a symptom or a side effect of a more serious health problem.
|Abnormal and excessive electrical activity in the brain.|
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Sometimes the cause is not known. Some common causes are:
- Health problems like epilepsy
- Injury or trauma to the head
- Infections, such as meningitis
- Brain tumor
- Accidental poisoning
Certain medical problems, such as:
- Low blood sugar
- Very high fever
- Electrolyte levels that are not normal
- Fluid buildup in the brain
- Diseases or deformities present at birth
You will be asked about your child‘s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Blood tests may be taken. The fluid around your child's spine may also be tested. This can be done with a lumbar puncture.
Images may be taken of the child's brain. This can be done with:
- CT scan
- MRI scan
The child's brain activity may be tested. This can be done with an EEG.
Some seizures will not need to be treated. For example, children will outgrow seizures caused by fever by about 5 years of age. Others will be treated based on what is causing them. Underlying problems causing seizures will need to be treated.
Anti-seizure medicine may be given. The one that is used will depend on the type of seizure the child has.
Surgery may be needed in children with severe seizures who are not helped by medicine. Nerve fibers may be separated or a section of the brain that starts the seizure may be removed. It is only an option for children who have specific parts of the brain involved. It is not done often.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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- Seizure Disorder—Child
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians https://familydoctor.org
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics https://www.healthychildren.org
HealthLink BC https://www.healthlinkbc.ca
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