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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