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What are some possible causes of seizures in children?

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Quick Answer

Possible causes of seizures in children include epilepsy, head injuries or diseases, according to Boston Children's Hospital. However, most childhood seizures have no apparent cause and do not create long-lasting problems.

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Full Answer

Seizures occur any time a large number of neurons activate at the same time, which disrupts the brain's normal electrical functions, reports WebMD. High fevers and lack of oxygen are other potential causes. Some types of accidental poisoning or drug overdose can also cause seizures.

Although most people think of seizures that cause the affected person to experience convulsions, that is only one type of seizure, according to Boston Children's Hospital. Other seizures may be brief and subtle, and they do not always involve a loss of consciousness. Some parents may not even notice mild seizures in their children. Seizures are particularly common in younger children, and about 5 percent of people experience them at some point.

Although many childhood seizures are one-time events, children who experience seizures should be examined by a doctor, suggests WebMD. The doctor may perform blood tests or use equipment such as EEGs or MRIs to check for abnormal brain or electrical activity. Not all seizures require immediate medical care, but the child's pediatrician should be contacted as soon as possible for advice. Emergency services should always be called for seizures that last longer than five minutes.

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