When a child has his first seizure the biggest impact is to the parents or caregiver, not the child. Watching your child having a seizure is beyond scary! As parents, we sometimes forget that the people around us are also scared. Epilepsy is scary.
As a mom, I get to talk to the doctors, the specialists, and the neurologists. Friends, family, and even people we are around daily don’t. As a mom of one child epilepsy and one with febrile seizures, I see them often.
Here is the answer to the biggest 7 questions people have about children (specifically my children since all kids are different) that have seizures.
What’s the difference between epilepsy and febrile seizures?
A febrile seizure is the body’s way of restarting when it gets too hot. You know how if your laptop gets overheated it shuts itself down? That’s what a febrile seizure is doing. They are common in kids 6 months – 5 years old.
If you want more information on a febrile seizure, Click here.
Epilepsy is unprovoked seizures. Usually, a person must have more than 2 seizures that can’t be linked to a sickness or fever to be diagnosed. There is a huge rainbow of the type of epilepsy a person can have. Some are worse than others.
Can I catch epilepsy?
No, you cannot catch epilepsy from someone.
Is epilepsy rare?
No. It’s actually one of the most common conditions that affect the brain.
Is there a cure?
Right now there is no cure for epilepsy. It can be treated though. The treatment varies from case to case.
In my oldest sons case (febrile), he needs no medications. He only has seizures with a fever. With my youngest son, he is medicated and take 8 pills per day to prevent seizures.
Can a kid with epilepsy do normal kids things?
This depends on the child, but for my son, he can do anything any other kid can do. We do try to keep his feet on the ground to prevent injury in case of a seizure though.
He can still play soccer, ride his bike, go to school, and just by looking at him you would never know he was sick.
Can you die from epilepsy?
Yes, but it’s very rare. They can die from SUDEP or Status Epilepticus.
Does having a child with epilepsy scare you?
Yes, it scares me. I check on him multiple times a night, if he falls asleep in my car, or if I don’t hear him playing for a few minutes.
Life is getting easier though. We’ve been dealing with this for over a year now, and I am starting to get more comfortable knowing that I know what to do.
What do I do if someone is having a seizure?
- Make sure there is nothing around them that can hurt them.
- Time them
- Call 911
- Do NOT put anything in their mouth or try to hold them down.
- Turn them on their side.
- Stay calm. It will pass. Once it is over do not leave them. Let them know you are there and they are safe.
If you see a parent dealing with a child that is seizing please don’t stare. Unless it’s a child’s first seizure, we are used to them and know how to handle them. We also know when to get help. We don’t want our child coming out of a seizure and being embarrassed with all the attention.