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Seizure Disorders. Jennifer Hickel EEC4731 Module 2: Young Children’s Health. Overview. Seizures are defined as a temporary interruption of consciousness sometimes accompanied by convulsive moments .

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Seizure disorders

Seizure Disorders

Jennifer Hickel


Module 2: Young Children’s Health


  • Seizures are defined as a temporary interruption of consciousness sometimes accompanied by convulsive moments.

  • Result of a sudden disruption of orderly communication among nerve cells (neurons) in the brain.

  • Creates uncontrolled and abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Types signs and symptoms
Types, Signs and Symptoms

  • Febrile seizures:

    • Triggered by high fever

    • May cause child to lose consciousness, experience full-body, involuntary, jerking movements

    • Usually stop when fever subsides

    • Not thought to result in serious or permanent damage

  • Focal seizures (Partial seizures):

    • Involuntary convulsive movements

    • Begin at the tip of an extremity and spread toward the body trunk

    • Child does not always lose consciousness

Types signs and symptoms cont
Types, Signs and Symptoms – Cont.

  • Petit mal seizures (Absence seizures):

    • Characterized by momentary losses of attention

      • Ex: starting off into space, blank appearance, brief fluttering of the eyes

    • Usually last 10-30 seconds

    • Child may abruptly stop activity and immediately resume after seizure

  • Grand mal seizures (Tonic-Clonic seizures):

    • Most common form of seizure disorders

    • Convulsive movements usually involving the entire body

    • Some children experience an “aura” or warning before seizure begins

      • Ex: sound, smell, taste, sensation, or visual cue

    • Child experiences sudden stiffness followed by loss of consciousness and uncontrollable muscular contractions

    • After seizure child may awaken and complain of headache or dizziness

Types signs and symptoms cont1
Types, Signs and Symptoms – Cont.

  • Temporal lobe seizures:

    • Spontaneous episode of unusual behavior

      • Ex: inappropriate hysterical laughter, utter unintelligible sounds, run around in circles

    • May experience an “aura” before seizure begins

    • Child does not usually lose complete consciousness

    • May be drowsy and/or confused afterwards

    • Child should be encouraged to rest

What can trigger a seizure
What can trigger a seizure?

  • Seizures can be triggered by many different factors including:

    • Missing a dose of medication

    • Tiredness

    • Missing meals

    • Taking illicit drugs

    • Increased stress level

    • Flashing lights

    • Drinking alcohol

    • Overheating or overexertion (hyperthermia)

Management of seizure disorders
Management of Seizure Disorders

  • Most seizures can be controlled with medication

    • Vital that children take medication everyday, even if seizures are under control

    • Medication may cause undesirable side effects like drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness

    • Child should be monitored closely by physician

  • Surgery and specially prescribed diets can also be used to control seizures

What do i do as a teacher
What do I do as a teacher?

  • Teachers have two primary responsibilities if a child has a seizure in the classroom:

    • 1) Ensure the safety of the student having the seizure

    • 2) Address the situation with the rest of the class

      Let’s explore each of these responsibilities a bit more specifically…

What to do during a seizure
What to do During a Seizure

  • Try to remain calm. Let the student have the seizure, then contact the school nurse to offer assistance after the seizure has subsided.

  • If you are able, try to time the duration of the seizure.

  • Attempt to help the student to the floor and provide a pillow or something soft to prevent head injury. Do not hold a seizing student down.

  • Move any furniture or objects that may cause injury.

  • Do not put anything in the student’s mouth.

  • When jerking movement stops, lay the student on his or her side. It is not uncommon for someone who has had a seizure to vomit, and this will help prevent the student from choking. Then, let the student rest in this position until he or she regains consciousness.

  • After the seizure, reassure the student that he or she is safe. Once fully alert, let the student know about the seizure and how long it lasted.

  • If a seizure lasts more than 5 minutes or you see that the student is having more than one seizure without regaining consciousness, call an ambulance immediately—this is a medical emergency that requires advanced care.

What to do after a seizure
What to do After a Seizure

  • Notify the student’s parents immediately.

  • Document the seizure in a brief, written report and include it in the student’s health file.

  • Discuss the event if the seizure was witnessed by other members of the class.

    • Helps students to understand what happened

    • Helps ease students’ fears and minimize humiliation or ill feelings toward the student who had the seizure.

Classroom resources
Classroom Resources

  • Lesson plans to help you offer seizure/epilepsy education in your classroom.

    • (Preschool – K)

    • (Grades 1-4)

  • Sample incident form to help you inform the parents of a student who has had a seizure:



  • Health, Safety and Nutrition for the Young Child

    • 7th Edition, by: Lynn R. Marotz

  • Epilepsy Classroom