Friday, July 08, 2016

Could a baby have a seizure? Review the signs and what you can do...

Signs of Seizures in Babies

Is your baby having a seizure? Find out the signs of seizures in babies and what to do if your child has one.

Signs of Seizures in Babies

  • Febrile seizures. Your baby may roll her eyes, and her limbs may either stiffen or twitch and jerk. Up to 4 out of every 100 children age 6 months to 5 years have one of these seizures, which are triggered by high fevers, usually above 102°.
  • Infantile spasms. This rare type of seizure occurs during an infant's first year (typically between 4 and 8 months). Your baby may bend forward or arch her back as her arms and legs stiffen. These spasms tend to occur when a child is waking up or going to sleep, or after a feeding. Infants can have hundreds of these seizures a day.
  • Focal seizures. Your baby may sweat, vomit, become pale, and experience spasms or rigidity in one muscle group, such as fingers, arms, or legs. You may also observe gagging, lip smacking, screaming, crying, and loss of consciousness.
  • Absence (petit mal) seizures. Your baby appears to be staring into space or daydreaming. She may blink rapidly or appear to be chewing. These episodes typically last less than 30 seconds and may occur several times a day.
  • Atonic (drop attack) seizures. Your baby experiences a sudden loss of muscle tone that makes her go limp and unresponsive. Her head may drop suddenly, or if she is crawling or walking she might fall to the floor.
  • Tonic seizures. Parts of your baby's body (arms, legs) or her entire body suddenly stiffen.
  • Myoclonic seizures. A group of muscles, usually in the baby's neck, shoulders, or upper arms, starts to jerk. These seizures usually occur in clusters, several times a day and several days in a row.

    What to do if Your Baby Has a Seizure

    See your pediatrician if you think your baby is having seizures. "If possible, take a video of the episode on your smartphone to show to your doctor," suggests Dr. Hartman, who is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) Section on Neurology. It's important to pay attention to these things:
      • How long the seizure lasts
      • Where the seizure started (arms, legs, eyes) and whether it spread to other body parts
      • What the movement looked like (staring, jerking, stiffening)
      • What your baby was doing right before the episode (waking up, eating)

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