Childr Health Information

Caring for a Child With Seizures

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions


This handout was written to help you take care of your child’s seizures at home. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.

WHAT CAUSES SEIZURES?
There are many reasons for seizures in children. Seizures may be the result of a head injury, a brain infection, low blood sugar or a high fever. Often the doctor cannot find out why a child is having seizures. These seizures are called “idiopathic” seizures. If you do not know why your child is having seizures, ask your doctor.

HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY CHILD AT HOME?
1. Give your child the seizure medicine exactly as the doctor orders it. You will need to give the seizure medicine even if your child has not had a seizure for a long time. Remember, seizure medicine helps prevent seizures. Never stop giving seizure medicine without asking your child’s doctor. If your child needs to take any other medicine, be sure to tell your doctor that your child takes seizure medicine. Certain drugs can change how well the seizure medicine works.
2. Let your child rest. It is common for children to be very sleepy when they first start taking seizure medicine. The sleepiness may last three to seven days. Call the doctor if:
a. The sleepiness does not go away
b. Your child acts funny (a personality change)
c. Your child has trouble with balance (acts drunk)
3. Normal activity. Your child should be able to continue any activity (play, school, etc.) that he or she did before having a seizure. Your child should not be left alone in the tub or shower.
4. Brush teeth often. If your child is taking Dilantin to control seizures, his or her teeth will need to be brushed two to three times a day. Dilantin may make your child’s gums enlarge (get bigger).
5. Blood tests. You may need to bring your child back to the doctor’s office or hospital for blood tests. The doctor will tell you when to come. These blood tests tell the doctor if your child is getting enough medicine to control seizures.

SHOULD I CALL 911 IF MY CHILD HAS ANOTHER SEIZURE?
Maybe. Most (90 percent) seizures start and stop spontaneously in less than three minutes. Brief seizures are not medical emergencies. It is safe to allow the seizure to continue five minutes before calling 911. When a seizure begins:
1. Be calm and stay with the child.
2. Roll your child onto his side (head and body).
3. Loosen any tight clothing.
4. Protect your child’s head from striking hard objects.
5. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING INTO HIS OR HER MOUTH.
6. Do not restrain your child’s movements.
When the seizure has stopped, your child may need sleep to recover. Check for a fever.

WHEN SHOULD I CALL MY DOCTOR?
Be sure to follow-up with your child’s doctor at regular intervals. Call your child’s doctor if seizures become more frequent, more intense or last longer.

MY CHILD TAKES SEIZURE MEDICATION. CAN I ALSO GIVE HIM ADVIL® OR TYLENOL® WHEN HE HAS A FEVER?
Yes. Controlling your child’s fever will make him more comfortable and may prevent a breakthrough seizure. If the fever is not controlled by the proper dose of Advil® or Tylenol®, notify your child’s doctor.

PDF: Child Health Information - CARING FOR A CHILD WITH SEIZURES

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

 

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