10 Things to Know and Expect if Your Child has Epilepsy
Having children in the household can be a challenge for any parent, especially when they are at the age where they are active and out and about or when they hit their teenage years. If your child has epilepsy on top of that, it comes with additional challenges that such parents need to be prepared for. Epilepsy is a condition that does come with a lot of stigma as it is a condition that has been misunderstood for years. It is basically a brain disorder that leads to one suffering repeated seizures. Due to this, it can get in the way of normal life activities, especially if the seizures keep happening. Although it has no cure, it can be controlled through medication, surgery or through one following a special diet. Parents who have children with epilepsy need to have sufficient knowledge on the condition to be able to be of help to their children and help them cope and that is where this article will come in as it will look to highlight 10 things that one should know and expect if they have a child with epilepsy.
As stated above, one of the way to control the condition is through medication and as such if your child is on medication, it is advised that you regularly take them back to the healthcare provider for tests so that you may find out how well the medicine is working if at all it is. When you take your child for these tests, expect them to undergo a battery of tests such as blood tests, urine tests and even an Electroencephalogram, EEG.
Another thing that is important for you as a parent to know is that even though your child may be on medication, they may not need medicine for life. If your child goes through a period of like one to two years without a seizure, then your child’s healthcare provider may recommend that they get taken off whatever medicine they were taking, as per the subject matter experts over at FrontlineER.com.
As was also mentioned earlier, another thing that a parent needs to know is that there are other types of treatment, if the medication your child is taking doesn’t work. These include ketogenic diet which is basically a type of diet high on fat and very low on carbohydrates, aimed at causing the body to make ketones. Other treatment routes to explore include Vagus nerve simulation as well as surgery. All these options should be discussed with your child’s healthcare provider so as to ensure you arrive at the course of treatment that is the right one for your child.
Another very important thing to know for a parent with a child with epilepsy is that there are different types of seizures. It is important to note that the type of seizures your child will suffer is dependent on which part and the percentage of the brain affected as well as what happens during seizure. Epileptic seizures are broadly categorized into 2 main categories, focal seizure and generalized seizure, with these broad categories broken down further into smaller types. Here, it is important to know the type of seizures your child suffers from so as to know how to deal with them. Remember also, you can get a lot more information on the different types of seizures by heading over to the ever reliable FrontlineER.com.
Another thing worth knowing is that if your child has been prescribed some medicine, it is not only important to give it to them on time and as prescribed, but also be aware of the side effects. Most parents get scared with these side effects and stop giving their children the medicine. This is something that is strongly advised against since more or worse seizures ensue when you stop giving your child the prescribed medicine.
It is also important to be able to talk to your child about their condition if they are at the age where they can internalize what you will be telling them. This way, as per the subject matter experts over at FrontlineER.com, you get to help them understand about epilepsy, the type of seizures they have and the type of medicine they need to be taking as well as the safety precautions they need to take in their daily routines.
Another thing you should expect if your child has epilepsy is that your child may need special treatment and attention on certain extracurricular activities. To this end, it is recommended that you ensure that there is adult supervision when your child is out doing activities such as swimming and that they wear a helmet when bike riding, skating or playing hockey among other such sports.
It is also important that you are aware of seizure first aid so that you may be able to help your child. This, as is covered in detail over at FrontlineER.com, includes keeping your child safe to avoid an accidental injury during the seizure like placing them on a soft surface like a bed, laying them on their stomach to prevent choking, avoid placing anything in their mouth during convulsion, ensuring they are breathing adequately among other things
Another thing that you as a parent with a child with epilepsy should know are the warning signs and symptoms of an impending seizure as far as your child is concerned. Some of the general warning signs one should always look out for include stiffening of the body, staring, loss of bowel or bladder control, appearing confused or in a haze, loss of consciousness among others. Some of your child’s symptoms may mirror those of other health conditions and as such it is important to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis to ensure you are sure and are not shooting in the dark.
Knowing the warning signs is not enough as it is also important that you help your child avoid the triggers to their seizures. One of the ways you can do this is by ensuring that your child has enough sleep as a lack of sleep has been known to trigger seizures as well as ensuring they avoid certain foods that have the same effect. Certain activities should also be avoided as per the directions of your child’s physician.
The above are 10 of the things you need to ensure as a parent you know and expect if your child has epilepsy, with more on this and other related topics to be found over at the ever reliable FrontlineER.com.