May also be called: Febrile Seizures; Absence Seizures; Tonic-Clonic Seizures; Petit Mal Seizures; Grand Mal Seizures
"Seizure" is a general term that refers to sudden abnormal electrical discharges in the brain that can cause someone to collapse, convulse, or have another temporary disturbance of normal brain function, often with a loss or change in consciousness.
There are different types of seizures, with different causes and treatments.
If epilepsy is suspected, the doctor will order medical tests, including an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain wave activity.
While absence seizures do not look as serious as some other types of seizures, they can be dangerous if, for example, they occur during swimming, bathing, or driving. Someone who has them should never swim, ride a bicycle, or drive alone.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|National Institutes of Health (NIH) NIH is an Agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and offers health information and scientific resources.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Epilepsy Foundation Epilepsy Foundation has information on books, pamphlets, videos, and educational programs about seizure disorders. Call: (800) EFA-1000|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Fainting Fainting is pretty common in teens. The good news is that most of the time it's not a sign of something serious.|
|First Aid: Fainting Fainting is a loss of consciousness that can be caused by many things. Here's what to do if your child faints or is about to faint.|
|First Aid: Febrile Seizures These seizures sometimes happen in young children who have fevers. Although they can be scary, febrile seizures aren't usually a sign of something serious.|
|First Aid: Seizures Although seizures can be frightening, usually they last only a few minutes, stop on their own, and are almost never life threatening.|
|Breath-Holding Spells Kids who have these spells hold their breath until they pass out. Although upsetting to watch, the spells are not harmful and do not pose any serious, long-term health risks.|
|Febrile Seizures Febrile seizures are full-body convulsions caused by high fevers that affect young kids. Although they can be frightening, they usually stop on their own and don't cause any other health problems.|
|Babysitting: Dealing With Seizures What should you do if a child you're babysitting has a seizure? Our tip sheet can help you be prepared.|
|Epilepsy It comes from a Greek word meaning "to hold or seize," and seizures are what happen to people with epilepsy. Learn more about epilepsy in this article written just for kids.|
|A to Z: Seizure, Grand Mal A grand mal seizure is a sudden attack that brings on intense muscle spasms and loss of consciousness. It is caused by abnormal brain activity and affects the entire body.|
|A to Z: Seizure, Petit Mal A petit mal seizure is type of epileptic seizure that causes a person to briefly lose consciousness and stare ahead without moving, appearing "absent."|
|Is It Normal for Children to Hold Their Breath? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Epilepsy Seizures are a common symptom of epilepsy, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Learn all about epilepsy, including what to do if you see someone having a seizure.|
|I Get Seizures But Tests Show I'm OK. What's Going On? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Word! Seizure You might hear a seizure called a convulsion, fit, or spell.|
|Epilepsy Epilepsy causes electrical signals in the brain to misfire, which can lead to multiple seizures over a period of time. Anyone can get epilepsy at any age, but the majority of new diagnoses are in kids.|
|Seizures Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. Find out what you need to know about seizures and what to do if your child has one.|
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