Epilepsy is a condition of the brain that makes children have recurring seizures. A seizure is caused by a sudden change in the brain's normal electrical activity (similar to the way the lights flickering in a house because power lines are shaken during a storm). The brain uses electricity, too, and can be interrupted briefly.
Seizures can look very different. Some children have just one type of seizure, others more than one type. Some ways a seizure can affect a child:
- Causing a short time during which the child can't use one of the senses (ability to taste, feel, see, hear or smell).
- Causing a child to go unconscious for a short time or just sit staring into space for a time.
- Causing convulsions.
Epilepsy is not a mental disorder. Nor does epilepsy generally worsen with time. Sometimes epilepsy goes away after several years. Despite most often being a chronic condition, children can live normal lives with the help of anticonvulsant medications (anti-seizure drugs).
Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. A child with a seizure might:
- Seem to be daydreaming or not paying attention.
- Suddenly stop while talking or doing something and stare with a blank face, followed by rolling eyes and fluttering eyelids.
- Suddenly go stiff (especially the arms and legs).
- Make a crying sound.
- Have increased saliva (drooling).
- Shake a leg/arm or whole body repeatedly, with or without blacking out.
- In extreme cases stop breathing.
- May feel sleepy and confused, or upset.
- Have a headache.
- Feel sick to stomach (nausea) or throw up (vomit).
- May slur speech or be hard to understand for a little while.
To get more information about Epilepsy, click here.
*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.