Knowing your child has an epilepsy diagnosis can cause a parent to worry. You have all kinds of worries as to how it will affect them the rest of their life in their safety and health. How will they manage school? Maybe by having some sort of understanding of what you are supposed to expect can put your mind more at ease so you can be stronger support for your child.
Educating yourself is the first thing you should do. Epilepsy is never predictable, and it can degrade or improve at any time. No one is a “textbook case,” and no two epilepsy cases are alike.
People who have epilepsy all have different triggers for their seizures. For some, it is flashing lights or wavy lines on the TV. For others it might be smells, stress, extreme emotions, food, and sounds can all cause seizures, but the list can be virtually non-ending. The only real way to know what triggers are the ones that affect your child and to know this is to observe your child.
After your child has a seizure, ask him/her if they remember what they were doing when the seizure started. It is by this questioning you can start to ensure he avoids the triggers he described as much as you possibly can.
As a parent, you need to learn how you should handle a seizure with your child.The best thing you should do is take a first aid course. The course usually takes a weekend to complete, and the cost for the class is minimal.The course will train you on everything that you need to know before the seizure starts, during the seizure, and after it is over.
Once you learn there are a lot of things said about epilepsy that is nothing but a myth, you have made a considerable accomplishment, mainly because so many of the assumptions can be dangerous and place your child’s life in jeopardy.
The first thing that you should know is that seizures, even though frightening, are not dangerous. The hazards from the seizures are external, mainly caused by the untrained person doing something incorrectly.
Since kids play together and without someone continually watching them, they do not have the emotional and mental stability to be able to help their little friend when they have a seizure, sometimes causing their peers to make some deadly mistakes.
So many individuals think that patients will swallow their tongues when they are having a seizure, but this is not the truth. Swallowing your tongue is just not possibly physically.
To make the situation worse, some observers sometimes place objects into the patient’s mouth so they will not swallow their tongue (which cannot happen anyway) and cause a choking hazard.
Another problem from bystanders is when one of them tries to HALT the seizure, by shaking the patient to “try to wake them up,” or to hold the patient down to stop the seizure.
It is only in an extreme circumstance that a seizure should be stopped, and when it is that bad, only a physician in a hospital can do this for you.
The best way to handle a seizure is moving your patient away from hard objects, like toys and furniture.It keeps your child from getting injured while they are seizing.
The only thing you can do besides this is to put something under the little one’s head and wait for the seizure to be over.
If the seizure keeps lasting for more than five minutes or multiple seizures are successive that keep occurring, it is a condition called status epilepticus, you must call the ambulance as soon as possible; but rest assured the possibility of this happening is minimal.
While you might want to use your family doctor for help, there is little they can do for giving advice or even treating.Epilepsy needs to be monitored, tested and managed under a neurologist.
Most of the time the neurologist will schedule tests that will be done regularly after the initial diagnosis has been made and then throughout your child’s illness.
It will involve procedures that are non-invasive, like “EEGs” and “MRIs.”The EEG will look for brainwave patterns like spikes that show seizure activity.
The MRI will be looking for any physical anomalies that might explain a reason for epilepsy, but most of the cases are because of a chemical imbalance in your child’s brain, so most MRI’s for epilepsy do not show anything.If there is any scarring, a tumor, any tissue damage found, then surgery could be required.
Once all the tests are finished, the specialist will talk to you about what treatments will help.The treatments will all depend on the kinds of seizures, how frequent and if the treatment is even needed.The best way to take control of epilepsy is by medication but making some dietary changes have been found to help in some instances.
Medication might seem a logical choice, but do not be surprised if the neurologist does not want to give in to the medicines.
Anticonvulsant drugs can have nasty side effects and are generally not administered to children. Finding the right medication for an epilepsy patient is based on trial and error.
The drugs can cause problems with the development of your child or put him through mental or physical discomfort.The decision ultimately will be yours as a parent, but you should listen to the input of your child, depending on their age.
Overall, the child with epilepsy will have the normal life, with a few exceptions.
It seems the worst issue for the child is when it comes to driving when the child reaches sixteen.When they see their friends getting their driver’s license will be depressing and they are not allowed because of their medical diagnosis will be hard on them.
If this should be the case, try to reassure your child that they might not be able to drive right now, but as they get older, they will probably improve, and then they can get their license.
Most states will allow patients to be able to drive after they have no seizures for a certain period, whether taking medication or not.The waiting periods depend on where you live, but it can range from three to twelve months.
One more thing to consider is a stigma that is usually associated with someone having epilepsy. When your child is younger, he may be teased by his peers. Your or your child cannot have any control over what the other kids do or say; it is essential that you encourage him/her to play with the friends he has who understands his condition. The support from his friends will help him in dealing with his epilepsy a lot easier.
No one wants their child to have to deal with a neurological problem, but you cannot prevent epilepsy. As a parent, the best you should do is to take the proper steps in learning, understanding and coping with the condition. Help your child move on and enjoy a happy, healthy life.