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Epilepsy - what to ask your doctor - child

Definition

Your child has epilepsy. Children with epilepsy have seizures. A seizure is a sudden brief change in the electrical activity in the brain. Your child may have brief periods of unconsciousness and uncontrollable body movements during seizures. Children with epilepsy can have one or more types of seizures.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your child's health care provider to help you take care of your child's epilepsy.

Alternative Names

What to ask your doctor about epilepsy - child; Seizures - what to ask your doctor - child

Questions

What safety measures do I need to take at home to keep my child safe during a seizure?

What should I discuss with my child's teachers about epilepsy?

  • Will my child need to take medicines during the school day?
  • Can my child participate in gym class and recess?

Are there any sports activities that my child should not do? Does my child need to wear a helmet for any type of activities?

Does my child need to wear a medical alert bracelet?

Who else should know about my child's epilepsy?

Is it ever OK to leave my child alone?

What do we need to know about my child's seizure medicines?

  • What medicines does my child take? What are the side effects?
  • Can my child take antibiotics or other medicines also? How about acetaminophen (Tylenol), vitamins, or herbal remedies?
  • How should I store the seizure medicines?
  • What happens if my child misses one or more doses?
  • Can my child ever stop taking a seizure medicine if there are side effects?

How often does my child need to see the doctor? When does my child need blood tests?

Will I always be able to tell my child is having a seizure?

What are the signs that my child's epilepsy is becoming worse?

What should I do when my child is having a seizure?

  • When should I call 911?
  • After the seizure is over, what should I do?
  • When should I call the doctor?

References

Abou-Khalil BW, Gallagher MJ, Macdonald RL. Epilepsies. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 101.

Mikati MA, Hani AJ. Seizures in childhood. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 593.

Review Date:2/23/2017
Reviewed By:Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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