National Epilepsy day is on 21 June 2014 and we will be running a series of articles relating to this topic over the course of the week. The information was supplied by Epilepsy South Africa. They may be contacted on a share call number: 0860 EPILEPSY (0860 374537) or http://www.epilepsy.org.za
What do seizures look like in the first two years?
Babies engage in many random movements. Co-ordination is just beginning to develop. What one side of the body is doing may not match what the other side is doing. Early in life babies have reflexes that are triggered by how they are moved or positioned. Twitches, jerks, staring and stretching are all part of normal infant behavior. Seizures frequently look just like these normal behaviors. Often when parents find out that their baby is having seizures, they feel badly because they didn’t recognize the seizure sooner.
Particularly if this is your first child, you are working very hard to be a ‘good parent’. It is natural to think that you should know something is wrong. However, seizures during infancy are hard to diagnose just by watching a baby. Even doctor’s can make mistakes. Often a doctor needs an EEG to be sure that a behavior is a seizure. Sometimes a video EEG is used. This procedure involves the use of videotaping while your baby undergoes 24hours or more of EEG MONITORING. It allows you to mark the EEG record via a button press when you see the behavior that concerns you.
How do I know what my baby needs?
As you get acquainted with your baby, you develop a sense of what she needs. Some cries sound different from other cries. You get a sense of how your baby looks when she is happy and content, and how she looks when there is something wrong.Pediatic neurologists know something might be wrong with the nervous system. You develop similar ‘soft signs’ regarding your baby’s health and needs. When epilepsy is diagnosed, it may shake your confidence in your ability to read these ‘soft signs’. Don’t worry. Your sense of your baby and their needs will quickly return as you become familiar wither seizures and medication effects