The occurrence of seizures is a health problem, which troubles many people regardless of the age. Read the details about nocturnal seizures in children, in this article.
Although a seizure lasts for only a few minutes, the experience the person and the people surrounding him/her get is nerve-wrenching. Nocturnal seizures, as the name suggests, occur at night, and the condition is characterized by sudden jerky movement of the body. They are a kind of epileptic conditions, and they occur at night. The frequency of their occurrence differ from one person to other.
Medical help should be sought, in case the frequency increases. In children, they are quite difficult to handle, and emotional support, and understanding is expected from people. Let’s understand the details of what causes them, and what are the preventive measures to control them.
What Causes Nocturnal Seizures in Children?
During a seizure, the person loses his/her ability to control the muscles, and this leads to the jerky movements. Among the various kinds, juvenile seizure, and grand mal seizure are the two commonly seen ones during night. Let’s understand what causes them.
- The basic cause for the occurrence of seizures is, some change in the electrical activity in the brain, which causes disruption in normal functioning.
- High fever can also be a cause.
- Genetics and heredity is also a possible cause. It means that, if someone in the family has it, the child may also get it.
- Smoking and alcohol drinking during pregnancy also affects the fetus, and in the future it can lead to complications in the future.
- Trauma, due to certain injuries is also one of the possible causes.
- Use of certain medications and vaccines can also lead to seizures in children, but this cause is not proven.
- Brain tumors and other neurological disorders can also be a cause.
- Calcium and magnesium deficiency weakens the muscles and thus it is also one of the possible causes.
A seizure normally occurs without any prior symptoms or signs. Screaming and forceful movements of hands and legs is a common symptom. But some minor signs before the attack can be looked upon as warning signs to take proper precautions at night. Take a look at the symptoms given below.
- The child finds it difficult to sleep.
- Visible loss of concentration in the child.
- Difficulty breathing is also a possible symptom.
- Frequent change in the position while sleeping.
- Constant staring at one point, and lips turning blue are also minor symptoms of seizures.
- Rapid eye blinking.
- Tongue biting.
Treatment and Prevention
On most of the instances, other sleeping disorders like night walking, sleep apnea, and bed wetting are confused with seizures, an EEG test or a specialized brain activity test confirms if epileptic condition is the cause for seizure. Blood test, MRI test, etc are some of the other diagnostic tests to confirm this. The most effective treatment is medications. The medications vary as per the factors like age and weight of the child, and frequency of the seizures.
As the seizures can lead to the child falling off the bed, certain protective methods should be followed, like surrounding the bed with protective cushions. Also keep hard furniture away from the bed, as it can lead to injury. Recurrent episodes should not be ignored, as it can hamper the daily activities of the child. Also, don’t let him/her sleep alone. The child may get frightened, and so you need to be with him, and maintain your own composure. Doctors recommend that, nothing should be put in the child’s mouth when he is in a seizure, not even a medicine.
The diet also plays a huge role in preventing the seizures. So encourage your child to have a diet rich in all the nutrients. Give your child proper rest, and make sure he/she is getting enough of sound sleep.