Epilepsy or seizures or fits are a kind of neurological disorder caused mainly due to brain damage. Fits as it is generally called is due to sudden disturbance in our brain. Our brain, is like a wire mess, which send signals to various body parts for them to function. But when a kid has suffered brain damage, it occasionally causes some disturbances which results in chronic (persistent), repetitive and abnormal electrical discharges from brain cells which cause seizures or fits.
Causes of brain damage may be numerous. It can be caused by fall of mother during pregnancy or fall during delivery, or hypoxia (lack of oxygen supply to brain), or accident or brain injury in later part of life, infections, low or high level of calcium, potassium and/or sodium etc.
Fits are of various kinds. People mainly associated fits as person getting jerks and foaming from mouth. But it’s not necessary that all experience the same. Some kids while playing just go blank with eyes turned upwards, or some suddenly start making strange voices as if gurgling or snoring, some just lay still with no movement but loose body tone, etc. Each kid experiences different kind of seizure symptoms.
What precautions should one take while a child is having fit?
- Remain Calm
- Place the person on soft surface.
- Remove glasses, if worn by kid and loosen any tight clothing.
- Rest the child's head on a pillow and lay them on their side, so that if the child throws up, he/she doesn't choke.
- Don't try to restrain the child.
- Stay with kid until he/she comes to normal.
As soon as child gets 1st epileptic attack, get the child consulted by your pediatric doctor or preferably by a pediatric neurologist who would suggest either an EEG or an MRI or a CT scan. These tests show and record the main causes of the epileptic episodes and the region from which these are generated. Once the causes are known, these episodes can be controlled by medications prescribed by neurologist.
It’s not necessary that anyone having epilepsy has to be differently abled. Sometimes a healthy child with no condition can also get epileptic attack. Such kids can lead normal life. But if the seizures are associated with different conditions in kid, prognosis (the expected duration, the function, and a description of the course of the disease, such as progressive decline, intermittent crisis, or sudden, unpredictable crisis) is usually slower compared to others.
Being a parent, with epileptic child I would like to advice, don’t panic when a child gets fits. Because getting panicky won’t help the child. It’s better to be calm and take the necessary precautions so that it doesn’t cause further harm or damage to the kid. I know it’s easier said than done. It’s difficult for any parent to see our child in that condition and be helpless. And whenever child gets an epileptic attack try to record a video to show it to your doctor for reference. It will help doctor know which kind of fit the child has got.