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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DS had a seizure today

(15 Posts)
giraffecrossing Thu 06-Sep-12 04:32:00

Three year old DS had what I am almost certain was a petit mal seizure today whilst in the bath. (I have seen people have them before). This is the first time anything of this nature has happened. I know he was very tired today as he didn't have his usual nap, but he was lively and playful just before it happened.
I am hoping it was a one off brought on by exhaustion and was wondering if anyone's child has has a seizure just once? Or suffers from them brought on by tiredness? Obviously I am hoping this is not the start of something. The doctor said they will run tests if it happens again.
Any advice would be greatly appeciated - it was very scarey!

brighthair Thu 06-Sep-12 04:37:36

Did he have a temperature? Or virus?
I had fits when I was younger and being tired often brought one on
If it helps, I managed to spectacularly smash my head through a glass pane set in concrete and knock myself out. This led to fits (grand mal) and tests and hospitals...
And I'm all fine now, seizure free for 18 years

brighthair Thu 06-Sep-12 04:40:29

Stupid iPhone lost half my message! Guess what I'm trying to say is one is very common, but even if he had another or more, people do grow out of them
Hope you are ok, it is scary. I used to terrify people (except myself because I knew nothing about it) grin

SuoceraBlues Thu 06-Sep-12 05:58:53

This happened to us. About ten years ago, two year old DS had been poorly, no fever, but hadn't eaten very much for a couple of days.

He was just getting better when it happened as well.

Scared the holy crap out of us.

The hospital kept him in and the nuro ran a test with a skull cap thing on his head to check his brainwaves or similar. There was nothing wrong.

The only test that came back out of whack was the Ketosis one. To this day, despite never having had a real diagosis from any of his peds even after further tests, we have to make sure that he doesn't go long between eating something. If he runs around a lot, gets excited, is stressed...more regular snacks are required or he faints.

He has never had another fit (thank god, becuase it goes down as one of the scariest things that has ever happened) but we have never satisfactorily resolved what the underlying issue is either.

Which means I am not a lot of help to you really. Except to say, I get it. I know how scary it is and how unsettlng not to have an answer and to have it at the back of your mind that it might happen again.

So big fat hug and I hope they offer you further testing soon, just to rule stuff out so a little peace of mind is on the table.

Chubfuddler Thu 06-Sep-12 06:09:44

Are you sure it wasn't a febrile convulsion? Ds had one when he was 2, I thought he was going to die. He'd got too hot in the car (v sunny winters day thick coat on). It's never happened again.

giraffecrossing Thu 06-Sep-12 16:08:15

He didn't have a temperature, but he was in the bath at the time so I wonder if a combination of tiredness plus hot water led to it. Would this make it a febrile convulsion?

I have fainted a few times in my life and once was after a hot bath, but this was different.

Your replies are comforting, thank you. To know that it is possible to have it happen only once, or that if it occurs again he could still grow out of it.

My son had an unpleasant medical procedure last year and does not react well to doctors! He is absolutely hysterical at having to lie down and be examined. With this in mind we feel that it's best not to put him through the trauma of complex procedures if it was just a one off. Fingers crossed.

Chubfuddler Thu 06-Sep-12 20:04:02

What did he actually do? My sons eyes rolled back in his head. His mouth was slack. His fingers and legs started to twitch and after about three minutes to convulse violently. His jaw chattered. It was terrifying. It lasted about twenty minutes and stopped in a &e after he was given paracetamol and nerofen and an anti convulsants. It certainly looked v v serious but I was assured it was not epilepsy.

giraffecrossing Fri 07-Sep-12 16:19:21

Hi Chub. Well it wasn't as dramatic as that (that sounds truly awful), but it was scary enough! His eyes glazed over and he moved his head slowly round, like he was watching a fly or something. Then he was just sitting there, absent. All this time he never responded to his name. He was somewhere else.
I hauled him out of the bath and quickly dried him and dressed him while my husband got the car. I was talking to him the whole time and he was barely responsive but did whimper a bit, like he was in distress. By the time we got in the car he was asleep without ever having said a word or being alert again. I actually checked to see if he was still breathing. sad

OrangeEyesDoMoreThanSee Mon 10-Sep-12 23:08:18

If you are ever worried about response from a child our neurologist tells usbto touch DD's nose lightly. If it is a seizure she will not respond.

Illness, fever, dehydration, tiredness and low blood sugar all contribute to lowering seizure threshold. D has febrile seizures which trigger generalised seizures which do not stop without drugs. They are utterly terrifying.

OrangeEyesDoMoreThanSee Mon 10-Sep-12 23:09:36

I also did a paediatric first aid course to give me some confidence until she hopefully outgrows them

giraffecrossing Thu 13-Sep-12 17:38:34

Great tip about the nose. Thanks!

giraffecrossing Mon 01-Oct-12 05:53:10

Well, unfortunately I'm back because he had another one today, less than a month later. Again, he missed his nap today (I tried to get him to sleep but he didn't fall asleep). So I guess that confirms that tiredness is the trigger.
I'm going to go see his doctor tomorrow, but just read on an epilepsy website that after just 2 seizures it may be beneficial to start anticonvulsant medication. I want to know more about this before doctor suggests it. To go from my healthy little boy to possibly needing medication, just like that, is horrible.

suburbandweller Mon 01-Oct-12 14:21:01

I saw a paediatrician specialising in infant neurology a few months back after DS had a suspected afebrile convulsion (which is any type of convulsion other than a febrile one, which is brought on by high temperature). His advice was that it might be worth undertaking further investigations if there have been two or more episodes, depending on whether there is any other possible cause. In DS' case it turned out to be involuntary breath-holding (not the correct medical term!), which is definitely different to your DS, but is similar to the extent that it is often brought on by tiredness.

It sounds as though what you have experienced could just be your DS' reaction to extreme tiredness but definitely worth getting a referral if you can. They won't give out medication (I don't think) without proper confirmation that it is epilepsy. Paed told me the next step would be an ECG to find out if the episodes are caused by something neurological, then treatment will follow that if appropriate.

wentshopping Mon 01-Oct-12 14:49:58

I second the advice about touching the nose; our neurologist also said say dd's name from behind her and see if she turns or acknowledges her name. DD1 was diagnosed with benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood after 2 grand mal seizures, both brought on by a combination of tiredness and being too hot - not a fever, but over-dressed for the car journey etc. Her seizures always happened when she was asleep, so we did not see them until she had one in the car (aged 9). Her type of epilepsy was controlled by medication, and as is typical with a childhood epilepsy, she outgrew it as she went through puberty, and is now seizure and medication-free. DD3 would have staring episodes, where she would just appear to be gazing into space, expression-less etc. The complication with her is that she has cerebral palsy from a brain injury, and therefore is more likely to develop seizures; this, coupled with a sibling with epilepsy made me hyper-aware of her doing the staring thing. However, a touch ar saying her name would always bring her back - so the staring was just "zoning out".
When dd1 was diagnosed I was really scared of what it would mean for her. She had quite intensive investigations (we live in USA) - CT scan (easy, no stress), and MRI (she was lightly sedated, not too bad) to rule out a physiological cause, and an EEG (most stressful for me as we had to keep her up late the night before, then wake her early, and not have her sleep until half way throught the exam) to show up any abnormal neurological function. The test involves electrodes being positioned on the scalp with sticky glue - then 30 imns to an hour of them watching the brain activity through monitors, then removing all the electrodes and glue - not painful but not fun for a figdety child. I think they also have skull caps which children wear for the weekend etc which monitor petit mal sizures, but have no experience of those. The eeg will show recent seizures (don't know how), and she's had a few of these. I would explain to her that we were going for tests at the nice hospital - basically because most of the consultation was done sitting up and chatting, and there were no needles involved. Medication - I was reluctant to medicate, but it removes the worry of seizures occurring, and means you can have everything else as normal. The reality for my dd was that epilepsy meant she was not allowed to take a bath on her own - take showers instead - or swim on her own ( a good idea anyway) and take a buddy if she went on a bike ride. Oh, and we had to stop her sleeping on the top of bunk beds. She's a totally normal teenager now, and you would never know anything had been wrong.

blondefriend Mon 01-Oct-12 21:12:05

My son had fits when he was first born and 5 weeks old caused by hypoglycaemia and then again at 7 weeks old. That time he needed to go on phenobarbitone. He went on to have EEGs and an MRI and was eventually weaned off the drug at 6 months old. He hasn't had any fits since (touch wood) but does have developmental delay. Could your son be having low blood sugars?

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