General Phone: (281) 298-1144

5 Signs of a Childhood Seizure Disorder

5 Signs of a Childhood Seizure Disorder

Childhood seizure disorder doesn’t always appear the way most parents imagine. Instead of losing consciousness and having body-wide muscle spasms, children are more likely to have subtle, brief symptoms that may go unnoticed.

There are significantly more than five signs of childhood seizures. However, the range of symptoms goes into one of five categories. In this blog, our team at THINK Neurology for Kids gives you a rundown of the symptoms parents may notice when their child has a seizure.

Uncontrollable muscle movements

Uncontrollable muscle movements are the easiest to recognize, but that doesn’t mean they’re always noticeable. You may not see the movement if it only lasts a few seconds. Additionally, seizures are always short-lived, so you may not associate a symptom like eye blinking with a seizure.

Children older than six may have full-body convulsions, and children younger than five frequently have seizures due to a high fever. In both cases, the seizure includes muscle jerking or shaking (throughout the body or arms and legs) and loss of consciousness.

A few examples of more common muscle movements during a seizure include:

Your child could also lose muscle tone, causing weakness or limpness.

Changes in awareness

Losing consciousness is often considered a primary symptom of seizures, but changes in awareness depend on the type of seizure. One type, a generalized seizure, affects both sides of the brain and causes a total loss of consciousness.

However, children are more likely to have subtle changes in their level of awareness. They often look like they’re daydreaming and not paying attention because they don’t respond briefly.

They could have a short period of staring or a pause in their normal behavior. For example, your child may be sitting at the table writing or coloring, stop their activity for a few seconds or minutes, and then continue as if nothing happened.

If you’re interacting with them at the time of the seizure, you may notice they’re temporarily unable to communicate. Or they may fall (without losing consciousness) for no obvious reason.

Unusual sensations

Children often experience changes in their sensations. Things may taste, smell, feel, sound, or look funny or different to them. Your child may smell things that aren’t there, feel like they’re floating, or experience tingling (pins and needles) sensations. They may hear a buzzing sound, or sounds may seem different.

Some children may have sensory symptoms before a seizure begins. This sign, called aura, may cause them to see flashing lights, notice unusual smells, or have emotional or physical symptoms.

Cognitive and emotional symptoms

Your child may suddenly feel angry, fearful, or anxious for no apparent reason. After a seizure, they may seem scared, upset, sad, or ashamed. Cognitive symptoms typically occur after a seizure, causing confusion and memory loss or slowing their thought process.

Physical symptoms

The autonomic nervous system controls essential body functions, such as heartbeat, body temperature, breathing, blood pressure, and digestion.

During a seizure, children may experience autonomic symptoms, such as:

Heart palpitations include a fast heart rate, a pounding heart, or sensations like fluttering in the chest.

If you notice any worrisome signs of a seizure, it’s crucial to schedule a thorough neurological exam. We run simple, pain-free tests like an electroencephalogram (EEG) to get images of the electrical activity in your child’s brain, showing if they had a seizure.

Our team provides comprehensive and compassionate care for seizures at four convenient office locations in The Woodlands, Katy, Sugarland, and Lakeway, Texas. If you have questions about your child’s symptoms or need to schedule an appointment, don’t wait to call the nearest office, send a message or request an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect From Your Child’s QbTest® for ADHD

You can see your child’s hyperactive behaviors and signs of inattention. But wouldn’t it be nice to measure the extent and severity of their ADHD symptoms and compare their behaviors to same-aged peers? That’s what we can do with the QbTest®.

How a Concussion Might Affect Your Child’s Sleep

Changes in your child’s sleep are expected after a concussion. All children need to rest, but some sleep for long stretches while others struggle to sleep. Here’s what parents need to know about sleep issues after a concussion.

Understanding the 3 Different Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy isn’t one disease with a single defining symptom. It’s a group of disorders that cause a wide range of symptoms requiring individualized treatment. Here’s what you need to know about the three main types of cerebral palsy.

4 Common Causes of a Speech Delay in Kids

Parents naturally worry when their child’s speech lags behind others in the same age group. But with early intervention, children can learn the skills they need to overcome a delay. Here’s what you should know about speech delays and their causes.

Important Treatments for Chiari Malformation Type II

Chiari malformation Type II is a congenital disability that causes parts of the lower brain to protrude down into the spinal canal. Though some therapies ease symptoms, the most critical treatment is surgery to create more space and relieve pressure.

6 Effective Treatments for Tourette Syndrome

Tourette syndrome is known for causing tics, but tics devastate children’s emotions and behaviors, often disrupting their ability to enjoy school and friends. Read on to learn about the treatments proven to help their challenges.