When Minutes Feel Like Hours: Recognizing and Responding to Your Child’s First Seizure
Every year, 25,000 to 40,000 children in the United States will experience their first seizure. Would you recognize a seizure if you saw one? Would you know what to do if you witnessed a seizure?
The brain is the control center of the body. The brain uses electrical impulses to communicate within itself and to send messages throughout the body. A seizure occurs when something disrupts the flow of electrical impulses and the wrong messages are sent throughout the body.
Seizures can occur suddenly and appear just as you imagine they would. They might follow an illness or episode of high fever, or could seem to occur out of the blue. Some of the more subtle types of seizure could appear as repeated unusual behaviors or a pattern of the same behaviors happening around bedtime or when your child or infant is waking up. In these cases, it can be easy to question if you are witnessing a seizure. To confuse you further, seizures in infants can look different from seizures in older children and can mimic other medical conditions. The way a seizure appears depends upon the cause of the seizure, the part of the brain sending out the wrong messages, and the age of the individual.
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