Seizures in Children (cont.)
Frank L Christopher, MD, FAAEM
Robert R Westermeyer II, MD, FAAEM
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Thomas Rebbecchi, MD, FAAEM
When to Seek Medical Care
All children who seize for the first time and many with a known seizure disorder should be evaluated by a doctor.
- Most children with first seizures should be evaluated in a hospital's emergency department. However, if the seizure lasted less than 2 minutes, if there were no repeated seizures, and if the child had no difficulty breathing, it may be possible to have the child evaluated at the pediatrician's office.
- After the seizure has stopped and the child has returned to normal, contact your child's doctor for further advice. Your pediatrician may recommend either an office or an emergency department visit. If you do not have a pediatrician or none is available, bring the child to the emergency department. If you are worried about possible absence seizures, evaluation at the pediatrician's office is appropriate.
- Caregivers of children with epilepsy should contact the child's pediatrician if there is something different about the type, duration, or frequency of the seizure. The doctor may direct you to the office or to the emergency department.
- Take the child to the emergency department or call 911 if you are concerned that your child was injured during the seizure or if you think that he or she may be in status epilepticus (seizures of any kind that do not stop).
Most children who have seized for the first time should be taken to the emergency department for an immediate evaluation.
- Any child with repeated or prolonged seizures, trouble breathing, or who has been significantly injured should go to the hospital by ambulance.
- If the child has a history of seizures and there is something different about this one, such as duration of the seizure, part of body moving, a long period of sleepiness, or any other concerns, the child should be seen in the emergency department.
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