Epilepsy

Children can have seizures for many reasons - they are not all epileptic seizures. An epileptic seizure happens when your child's brain has abnormal electrical activity that causes unusual movements, behaviour or funny feelings. Epilepsy is quite a common condition - it affects 1 in every 200 children.

Child going into MRI scanner with radiologist standing over child and sibling looking on

Our thanks to My little drummer boys: Preparing your child for an MRI scan for permission to reproduce the photo of the young boy on the MRI scanner bed.  

Our brains think and control our bodies using electrical messages. An epileptic seizure happens when there is abnormal electrical activity in your child's brain. Most children who have one epileptic seizure will never have another one. 

Epilepsy is the name of a group of disorders. Children with epilepsy have epileptic seizures.

Types of seizures - what you might see and/or what your child might feel.

If your child has received a diagnosis of epilepsy, they need understanding and you will all need time to adjust. Generally, your family routines and experiences should remain the same. The main change is that your child will need to take regular medicine and follow some safety advice.

Animated videos for primary school children featuring Campi the seahorse, and his friends Cala and Tuno. 

Find out what to do if your child has a seizure. 

Your child's healthcare team will give you advice about increasing safety for your child with epilepsy. The advice will depend on the type and frequency of your child's seizures.

It is very helpful to keep an up to date record of your child's seizures. 

If your child has had an epileptic seizure they may need an electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is a recording of their brain's electrical activity. Your child can have an EEG as an outpatient. They don't need to stay in hospital.

Sometimes, to understand what's happening inside your child's brain, your doctor may recommend MRI, a special type of scan. 

The aim of anti-epileptic medicines is to prevent epileptic seizures. They are very effective in controlling seizures as long as your child takes them correctly.