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Pediatric Epilepsy Questions and Answers

Why do seizures occur in children?

A seizure occurs when there is abnormal excessive neuronal activity in the brain. Not uncommon in children, most seizures are either provoked by fever or are only a one-time event, such as from a fall. What is most concerning is when a child has recurrent seizures without any identifiable precipitating factor. That’s when a neurologist should be consulted for a diagnosis.

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

A diagnosis of epilepsy can be made even after a single seizure. The first step is to meet with a neurologist and have your child tested. Pediatric neurologists at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children perform comprehensive testing and evaluation with the support of our skilled neuro-radiology team and electroencephalogram (EEG) technicians. Genetic testing and consultation with our Pediatric Genetics team is also available.    

How is childhood epilepsy treated?

We offer treatment options that include pharmacological, non-pharmacological, holistic and surgical treatments, depending on each individual’s needs and preferences. We provide patients and their families with a full range of options and information and then develop a treatment plan based on each patient’s goals and priorities. Whether treatments include the use of newer anti-epileptic medications, medical marijuana, a ketogenic diet, vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) or surgical treatment, patients and families are involved in all decision-making.

Headaches in Children – Questions and Answers

When should I be concerned about my child’s headache?

Headaches are common in kids. Most of the time, they’re nothing to worry about. Childhood headaches are often triggered by tension, minor illnesses, sleep or dietary issues, dehydration or even a minor bump to the head.

But, there are some headaches (and symptoms) that can signal more serious problems. Red flags include new onset headaches that rapidly worsen and increase in frequency and severity, and what children report as “the worst headache of my life or a headache that follows exercise, straining, coughing, or bowel movement. Headaches like these need immediate medical attention.

Can my child’s migraines be treated and managed?

Children do recover from migraines and return to their normal selves after sleeping or taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen. However, if a child’s migraine symptoms require frequent over-the-counter medicines it’s time to consult your doctor about a treatment plan. The pediatric neurologists at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children comprehensively evaluate and manage headaches in children, and provide a range of treatment options.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Neurology, please call (321) 842-6671.