What Are the Causes of Seizures in Children?

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Seizures can be very scary, especially for children. They tend to come on unexpectedly and it is sometimes hard to pinpoint what triggers them. There are various treatments for seizures, including medication, modifying the child's environment and surgery. Since there are different types of seizures, it is important to determine the cause in order to help lessen their frequency and possibly prevent them completely.

Epilepsy

One of the primary symptoms of a child with epilepsy is seizures. This is because epilepsy causes abnormal brain functions to occur. There is usually a chemical imbalance in the brain of children diagnosed with epilepsy that causes frequent brain activity to occur that can result in seizures. Sometimes the seizures come on randomly for no apparent reason, and sometimes there are certain things that seem to trigger them. Examples of these triggers include getting overheated, certain types of lighting in a room, or the child getting upset.

High Fever

Seizures that occur when a child's body temperature rises to an unhealthy level are known as febrile seizures. These normally occur when a child's temperature goes above 102 degrees due to infection in the brain or having a severe infection of the middle ear. The seizure is the body's way of signaling that an abnormal temperature has occurred. There are two types of febrile seizures. Simple febrile seizures last 10 minutes or less and only happen once. Complex febrile seizures usually last more than 15 minutes and the child may have several over a 24 hour time frame.

Head Trauma

If a child has recent head trauma, he may suffer from seizures. If there was bruising of the brain at the time the trauma, this can be a cause for the onset of seizures. Head trauma can cause a jarring of the brain inside the skull, which in turn, can cause seizures to start a very short time after the trauma occurred.

Progressive Brain Disease

Although it is not common, progressive brain disease can be a cause for seizures in children. If a child has been diagnosed with a progressive brain disease, seizures may begin as the disease progresses into the later stages. Over time the frequency and intensity of seizures may increase.

Congenital Conditions

Children who are born with various congenital conditions, such as Down's Syndrome, Angelman's Syndrome and some forms of autism may also suffer from seizures. Seizures are common symptoms of these conditions and may vary from mild to severe. They are normally treated with daily medications which may help control them and/or decrease their frequency.

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