Epilepsy (First 2 Years) Part 2

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 can I do to comfort my baby during and after seizures?

It is natural to want to protect your baby from any discomfort. During the seizures, your child is typically unaware what is happening. Although you may see, your child’s body jerk. He/she is not uncomfortable or in pain. However, there may be things that you can do during a seizure and immediately afterwards to make sure that your child is safe. Your doctor will be able to tell you what is important for you to do for your child’s type of seizures. It is unlikely that your baby will remember having a seizure. After seizures, your baby may be upset because he/she is confused.

When a baby experience sudden body jerks (myoclonic jerks) he/she may be distressed because he/she has knocked over the block tower that he was building or dropped the food he/she was trying to eat. You can help your baby re-engage in the activity (e.g. rebuild the tower, offer a bite of food).Babies operates in the present. If you make his life fine, your baby will readily return to bring happy. Long before they understand words, babies can sense your emotion from the tone of your voice, change in your facial expression, and the quality of your touch. Comfort your child with the same things that work when others things have left him irritable and upset. Holding, rocking, and hearing a reassuring tone of your voice will help your baby feels secure. Your calm calms your child. For toddlers, it is helpful to tell them that they are OK. During the toddler years, you can use a word or phrase that describes what occurs during a seizure (e.g. ‘jerks, shakes’) to explain what has just happened. If you can be matter-of-fact (e.g. ‘that was just one of your jerks’), your child will learn to feel that way about his seizures as well.

Your doctor and pharmacist will help you get a form of medication appropriate to your child’s age. For most of babies, liquid forms of the anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are used. Your pharmacy may be able to provide you with a bottle stopper that allows you to attach a medicine syringe. This makes it easier for you to get the right dose for your baby while reducing the chance for spills. With a little practice, you and your infant will find a method that works best for making sure the medicine ends up in his mouth and is swallowed. The times that medicine coated your infant’s face, went up his nose or ended up in your hair will become funny memories.

For toddlers, some medications are available as ‘sprinkle’ or can be crushed, then mixed with foods such as yoghurt or ice cream. Your toddler may find that this tastes better than the liquid form. Your attitude when giving medication is important. Remember, your child in fact can tell when you are tense, tending to become more irritable in response to this tension. So relax. Medicine is important, but you will succeed in giving it. Make giving medicine as routine an event as giving your baby a bath or changing a diaper. The more that it is become part of your baby’s routine, the less resistance you will encounter as he grows up. If you approach giving medication in a confident, matter-of-fact manner, your child will be more likely to cooperate. While most in facts take medication well, giving medication can become more challenging as your baby grows into the toddler years. Once children learn to use the word ‘no’ they typically test out the use of that word in many settings.

Most parents encounter at least a few times when their child objects to taking medication. However, if this becomes a daily problem, you need to take action to resolve it as quickly as possible. Talk with your neurologist. It may be that a change in medication or in the supplier of a medication resulted in a product that tastes bad to your child. A different form of the medication may work better. If talking with the neologies does not help, ask for a referral to a pediatric psychologist to serve as a coach in helping you and your child work through this problem.

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