Overview• A seizure occurs when the brain functions abnormally, resulting in a change in movement, attention, or level of awareness. Different types of seizures may occur in different parts of the brain and may be localized (affect only a part of the body) or widespread (affect the whole body). Seizures may occur for many reasons, especially in children. Seizures in newborns may be very different than seizures in toddlers, school-aged children, and adolescents. Seizures, especially in a child who has never had one, can be frightening to the parent or caregiver (Francisco, 2010).
Symptoms• Seizures in children have many different types of symptoms. A thorough description of the type of movements witnessed, as well as the childs level of alertness, can help the doctor determine what type of seizure your child has had (Francisco, 2010).
Symptoms (cont.)• The most dramatic symptom is generalized convulsions. The child may undergo rhythmic jerking and muscle spasms, sometimes with difficulty breathing and rolling eyes. The child is oftensleepy and confused after the seizure and does not remember the seizure afterward. This symptom group is common with grand mal (generalized) and febrile seizures.• Children with absence seizures (petit mal) develop a loss of awareness with staring or blinking, which starts and stops quickly. There are no convulsive movements. These children return to normal as soon as the seizure stops (Francisco, 2010).
Symptoms (cont.)• Repetitive movements such as chewing, lip smacking, or clapping, followed by confusion are common in children suffering from a type of seizure disorder known as complex partial seizures.• Partial seizures usually affect only one group of muscles, which spasm and move convulsively. Spasms may move from group to group. These are called march seizures. Children with this type of seizure may also behave strangely during the episode and may or may not remember the seizure itself after it ends (Francisco, 2010).
Management• Most seizures can be controlled with medication. It is vital that children take their medications every day, even after seizures are under control.• Children may initially experience undesirable side effects to these drugs, such as drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness. However these problems usually disappear after a short time.• Children should be monitored closely by their physician to ensure that prescribed medications and dosages continue to be effective in controlling seizure activity and do not interfere with learning (Lynn 2009).
Management (cont.)• Whenever a child experiences a seizure, families should be notified. If the nature of the seizures changes, or if they begin to recur after having been under control, families should be encouraged to consult the child’s physician.• Teachers should also complete a brief, written report documenting their observations following any seizure and put it into the child’s permanent health file (Lynn 2009).
Teaching Modifications• Be aware of any children with a seizure disorder in the classroom. Find out what the child’s seizures are like, if medication is taken to control the seizures, and whether the child is limited in any way by the disorder.• Know emergency response measures. Develop guidelines for staff members to follow in the event that a child has a seizure; review the guidelines often.• A teacher’s own reactions and displays of genuine acceptance can go a long way in teaching understanding and respect for anyone with special health problems (Lynn 2009).
Teaching Modifications (cont.)• Use the presence of a child with a seizure disorder as a learning opportunity for other children. Provide simple explanations about what seizures are; encourage children to ask questions and express their feeling. Help children learn to accept others who have special conditions. Teachers can help young children learn to accept and cope with their seizure disorder. They can also encourage children to develop positive attitudes toward people who experience seizures (Lynn, 2009).
References• Lynn R. Marotz (2009) Health, safety & nutrition for the young child. Children’s health: Maximizing The Child’s Potential. 116-118. Canada. Cengage Learning.• Francisco Talavera, Frank L Christopher, Scott H Plantz, Thomas Rebbecchi. (2010). Seizures in Children Symptonms. emedicinehealth.com. Retrieved Jan 29, 2012, from www.emedicinehealth.com/seizures_in_children/page3_em.htm.• Francisco Talavera, Frank L Christopher, Scott H Plantz, Thomas Rebbecchi. (2010). Seizures in Children Overview. emedicinehealth.com. Retrieved Jan 29, 2012, from www.emedicinehealth.com/seizures_in_children/article_em.htm