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Infant epilepsy: Signs, causes and treatment

Having a baby with any type of health issue is scary. One common complication in infants is epilepsy. More than 326,000 children younger than 15 in the U.S. have this neurological disorder. A baby who has epilepsy may be prone to frequent seizures during the first few years of life. 

Dealing with and confronting this reality is hard, but necessary. Here is some important information regarding the symptoms, causes and treatment for infant epilepsy. 

Signs and symptoms

Here are some indications that your baby is having seizures:

  • Muscle jerking
  • Sudden stiffening or limpness of the body
  • Rolling eyes
  • Suddenly collapsing while crawling
  • Staring into space
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Becoming unconscious

It is vital to know there exist various different types of seizures with their own unique symptoms. The different seizures include tonic seizures, myoclonic seizures, febrile seizures, atonic seizures, absence seizures, focal seizures and infantile spasms. 

Causes and risk factors

Many things can cause or contribute to infant epilepsy, including:

  • Lack of oxygen during birth due to medical negligence
  • Tumors
  • Stroke
  • Meningitis
  • Genetic disorders
  • Brain hemorrhages

No matter the cause of epilepsy, it is crucial to seek answers and treatment as soon as you notice anything wrong. 

Care and treatment

The first thing to do if you suspect a problem is to talk with your pediatrician. There are several treatments available, including anti-seizure medications. Approximately 70 percent of children with epilepsy respond well to these medications. Additionally, your pediatrician may recommend how to help your child through a seizure. Some common methods of caring for an infant during a seizure include:

  • Protecting your baby from hard objects
  • Keeping a soft pillow under the head
  • Gently rolling your baby onto their side to prevent choking
  • Avoiding preventing movements, putting something in the mouth or trying to open the mouth

If your baby has epilepsy, it can be hard to know what to do. But as long as you seek help and are there for your child, you can make it through the situation.

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