Parenting

Epilepsy 101

A lot is going through your mind when your pediatrician says “epilepsy.” 

What does it mean?                                                                                                                                          How will this affect our quality of life?                                                                                                       How do I need to prepare?

Epilepsy is a brain condition that affects people of all ages. In the U.S., about 1 percent of the population is affected. It’s often recognized by recurring, sometimes chronic, episodes of seizures. But when treated and managed well, epilepsy isn’t a handicap that can keep your child from enjoying childhood. Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Teach family and friends proper seizure first aid.
  • Create a Seizure Action Plan. Give it to teachers, family members and friends.
  • Identify the point that your child’s seizure is considered an emergency and share that standard with family and friends, too. Often, the seizure itself isn’t an emergency, but accidental injuries as a result make it one. Familiarize yourself with seizure safety.
  • Medical alert bracelets are very helpful in identifying children with epilepsy and will let medical professionals know how to care for your child if you’re absent.
  • Make sure your child takes his or her medicine Every. Day. On. Time. This is super important in living a well-managed seizure-free life.
  • Don’t skip the ZZZs. A lack of sleep can trigger more seizures.

You may be worried that your child might not be able to participate in a variety of plays. But that’s not true! Playtime and sports are actually encouraged because it promotes physical health and positive self-esteem. As long as the sport has proper supervision, seizures are well-managed and you’ve discussed it with your pediatrician, feel free to play ball! Or swim, ride, run. Sports like free climbing, skydiving and scuba diving are not recommended.

If you still have questions, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia, is the only children’s hospital in the area that delivers top-rated pediatric neurological care for children with acute and chronic neurological and developmental disorders. We have a staff of skilled pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons who can diagnosis, monitor and care for epilepsy. Request an appointment or call 706-721-KIDS (5437).

About the author

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the only facility in the area dedicated exclusively to children. It staffs the largest team of pediatric specialists in the region who deliver out- and in- patient care for everything from common childhood illnesses to life-threatening conditions like heart disorders, cancer and neurological diseases.