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Causes of Seizures in Children

A child may experience one or many seizures. While the exact causes of the seizures in children may not be known, the more common seizures are caused by the following:

  • in newborns and infants:
    • birth trauma
    • congenital (present at birth) problems
    • fever/infection
    • metabolic or chemical imbalances in the body
  • in children, adolescents, and young adults:
    • alcohol or drugs
    • trauma to the head
    • infection
    • congenital conditions
    • genetic factors
    • unknown reasons
  • other possible causes of seizures may include:
    • brain tumor
    • neurological problems
    • drug withdrawal
    • medications

Symptoms of Seizures in Children

The child may have varying degrees of symptoms depending upon the type of seizure. The following are general symptoms of seizures in children or warning signs that your child may be experiencing seizures. Symptoms or warning signs may include:

  • staring
  • jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • stiffening of the body
  • loss of consciousness
  • breathing problems or breathing stops
  • loss of bowel or bladder control
  • falling suddenly for no apparent reason
  • nodding the head
  • appearing confused or in a haze
  • periods of rapid eye blinking and staring
  • not responding to noise or words for brief periods
  • sleepiness and irritable upon waking in the morning

During the seizure, the child's lips may become bluish and breathing may not be normal. The movements are often followed by a period of sleep or disorientation.

The symptoms of a seizure in a child may resemble other problems or medical conditions. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.