The Dayton Children’s neurology department offers neurodiagnostic testing and ongoing care for children who are experiencing seizures.
A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that usually affects how a person feels or acts for a short time. A person who has two or more seizures typically is diagnosed with childhood epilepsy.
Some seizures are not very noticeable, while others are disabling. They may be a symptom of an underlying problem, and can be triggered by many things, such as an illness, head injury and sleep deprivation. Family history also can play a role.
Testing helps neurologists understand the cause of the seizures, identify the type of seizures your child is having, develop a comprehensive treatment plan and monitor your child’s progress.
Every patient is different
Every patient is different, and it can take time to find the right combination of therapies that will be most effective for your child. Pediatric seizure treatment options include:
- Seizure control medication
- Vagal nerve stimulation, a surgical implant that produces weak electrical signals that travel along the vagal nerve to the brain. These signals help prevent the electrical bursts in the brain that cause seizures.
- Ketogenic diet therapy, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, adequate protein diet that can be used to treat difficult-to-control seizures. Learn more.
These therapies, alone or in combination, are usually effective in helping patients achieve seizure control. But when they don’t, surgery is sometimes an option. Neurosurgeons at Dayton Children’s do not offer pediatric epilepsy surgery, but your neurologist can refer you to specialists at other centers who do. After surgery, your child can return to Dayton Children’s for comprehensive follow-up care.
What to do during a seizure
- Allow the seizure (shaking) to happen– do not hold down the person seizing
- Do not move the seizing person unless they are in danger
- Leave a clear space around them, loosen their collar if needed, and put something soft under their head
- Do not put anything in their mouth– they will not swallow their tongue
- Give seizure medication as ordered (if applicable)
Once the seizure has stopped…
- Roll the person onto their side into the "recovery position"
- Check to be sure that they are breathing normally
- Speak gently and calmly to them
- Please stay with them until they recover– they may be very tired or confused for a while
Please call 911 if the seizing person…
- has an injury during the seizure
- has trouble breathing after the seizure
- seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or the medication does not stop the seizure
- has another seizure without recovering
First seizure clinic
Dayton Children’s first seizure clinic treats patients with new onset convulsive seizures.
All new patients will be seen by a neurologist along with a nurse practitioner and have their EEG completed the same day.
Before your arrival, please fill out this seizure questionnaire.
If you have any questions, please contact Sarah MacDonald at MacDonaldS@childrensdayton.org. or 937-641-3497.
A physician referral is necessary prior to the child’s first outpatient visit. All follow up appointments will be made during your clinic visit or by calling central scheduling.
Seizure education classes
The neurology department offers seizure education classes. Please call our outpatient clinic to reserve your spot.
Make a referral
Fax referral forms: 937-641-4500, 24 hours
Toll-free fax: 1-866-891-6941
Hours: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday