The words epileptic seizure can be scary, because as a parent, nothing is more terrifying than when your child gets sick. Even though we may complain about the 3am feedings or the temper tantrums or the endless amounts of crap we have to clean up (literal and figurative), all we want is for our kids to be happy and healthy. When they get sick it is the worst, and if they are diagnosed with a disease you don’t understand, that’s the ultimate feeling of helplessness. In honor of National Epilepsy Month, it’s time to get educated about an illness that affects more than 65 million people worldwide. The scariest part is that new cases of epilepsy are most common among children, especially during the first year of life.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system. An epileptic seizure occurs when electrical activity between neurons is disrupted. Unfortunately, epilepsy is a common illness—about 356,000 American children under 15 have it—and even more unfortunate is the fact that many of us don’t know enough about it. According to the Epilepsy Foundation: “Even experts have difficulty in recognizing seizures in newborns. Normal babies have many sudden, brief jerks, grimaces, stares, and mouth movements that might suggest epilepsy in an older child or adult.” To get you started, here are 15 things you need to know about epilepsy.
- What are the causes of seizures and Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder. Many things can cause seizures such as infection, head trauma, and stroke or genetics. An epilepsy diagnosis generally means you have had two or more unprovoked seizures in the space of a year. Outside of the U.S. the most common cause is an infection caused by a tapeworm, and this can be easily prevented by washing your hands.