According to the Epilepsy Foundation, approximately 300,000 children under age 14 have epilepsy. Once a child develops symptoms of the neurological disorder, it is imperative that they receive the proper treatment. Failing to do so could result in injuries and the development of other health problems. The condition could even increase a child's risk of dying. If you suspect your child has epilepsy, here is what you need to know.
Does Your Child Have Epilepsy?
The only visible sign that your child has epilepsy is that he or she will have seizures. The type of seizures that your child can have varies, but regardless of the type, you should not disregard his or her symptom.
During the seizure, your child could lose consciousness for several seconds or minutes. He or she could have jerking motions and his or her muscles will stiffen. Your child could also have a seizure that only causes him or her to stare blankly into space or only show a few muscle twitches.
It is entirely possible that your child's seizures will occur without any warning. Your child could have symptoms that only he or she notices, such as seeing zigzag lines, developing blind spots, or hearing auditory hallucinations.
The best way to determine if your child has epilepsy is to schedule an examination with his or her family doctor. The doctor will likely refer your child to a neurologist for further testing to determine the cause of the condition. In severe cases, you may also need to consult with a neurology surgeon for more information.
What Can You Do?
Your child's treatment for epilepsy will likely include the use of prescription medication. However, there are things you can do at home to help your child stay safe and deal with the condition.
One of the most important things you can do for your child is to develop a safety plan for him or her at home. Once you have the plan, ensure that everyone in your family is aware of what to do when your child has a seizure and knows when to call for emergency services.
In addition to this, you need to make sure that your child is getting plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation can sometimes trigger a seizure. Talk to your child's neurologist to learn how much sleep he or she should be getting daily.
Some children tend to wander during seizures. If your child does, safety measures need to be implemented. For instance, a locking safety gate on the stairs can prevent a fall.
Talk to your child's doctor to learn of other ways you can keep him or her safe and treat the condition.