Seizures occur when a large number of nerve cells in the brain send out an electrical signal at the same time, overwhelming the brain and causing the body to seize.
What is Pediatric First Unprovoked Seizure?
The brain is comprised of billions of nerve cells called neurons, which use electrical impulses to communicate with each other. When too many neurons send out an electrical impulse simultaneously, the brain is overwhelmed, and a seizure occurs.
What are the different types of Pediatric First Unprovoked Seizure?
Several types of seizures can impact babies and children. Some of the main types include:
This type of seizure occurs when a child has an illness accompanied by a fever. These are the most common type of seizures.
This type of seizure occurs within the first 28 days of life, usually soon after the baby is born.
This type of seizure involves only part of the child’s brain, and only a part of the body.
This type of seizure involves a larger part of the brain, and usually a larger part of the body.
A type of generalized seizure, a convulsive seizure involves uncontrollable muscle jerking lasting for a few minutes (usually less than five minutes) followed by a time of drowsiness.
This type of seizure can involve shaking (called convulsions) combined with the body getting rigid, clenching the jaw, and biting the tongue. Some people still know this type of seizure as a grand mal seizure.
This type of seizure may involve staring into space. Or your child may stop talking abruptly and then start talking again, or start repetitious movements like chewing their lips or moving a hand. These types used to be known as petit mal seizures.
What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric First Unprovoked Seizure?
Though the symptoms of the seizure depend on the type of seizure it is, the following are some general symptoms of seizures in children:
- Difficulty breathing
- Eyes going in different directions
- Eyes rolling back into the head
- Generalized convulsions
- Repetitive movements such as chewing, lip smacking or clapping
- Sleepiness and confusion
- Staring or blinking
How is Pediatric First Unprovoked Seizure diagnosed?
If your child has an unprovoked seizure, your doctor will want to do a detailed physical exam of your child, understand your child’s past medical history and family history, and learn as much as possible from you about how the seizure started and what you observed.
The physical exam may include age-appropriate tests that are designed to determine the risk of seizure reoccurrence and to pinpoint any abnormalities that would help identify an underlying neurological disease, including epilepsy.
One test your child may need is an electroencephalogram (EEG), This test provides the doctor with a picture of the brain. An EEG is performed by placing electrodes on your child’s scalp and recording the electrical activity of the brain.
What are the causes of Pediatric First Unprovoked Seizure?
Anyone can have a seizure under the right circumstances. Fever, lack of oxygen, low blood sugar, head trauma or illness can cause a seizure. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of all children may experience a seizure. While most of these children will never experience a recurrence, an unprovoked seizure may be an initial sign of a more serious medical condition or epilepsy. Children with epilepsy have recurrent seizures.
The Epilepsy Center at Children’s Health is a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, providing the highest level of treatment for children with epilepsy. We were the first such program in the country to be certified by the Joint Commission, the nation’s preeminent standard-setting accrediting and certifying regulatory body in healthcare. Our interdisciplinary medical team has the experience to not only comprehensively diagnose children with this condition, but we remain the area’s only center to perform the most advanced procedures and therapies for the treatment of epilepsy.
Because this condition affects your child and your family, you will be glad to know we provide care for the whole family, including education and support.
In addition, the Epilepsy Center works with referring doctors and area Emergency Departments to:
- Provide seizure safety education programs
- Expedite appointments in order to get your child evaluated quickly
How is Pediatric First Unprovoked Seizure treated?
Unless tests indicate a high risk for another seizure, observation is the most effective course once an unprovoked seizure is diagnosed. Your doctor will also provide you with information about how to keep your child safe if another seizure should occur. If there is a high risk for another seizure, medication may be prescribed.