Most kids with epilepsy live full and active lives. Most of the time, they are fit to participate in school activities, go on playdates with friends and even participate in sports. But if diagnosed properly, every child will be able to live a whole life. Moreover, as parents, you need to treat the situation well and educate teachers, loved ones and friends, on the subject, Thus, the amount that epilepsy affects a child’s life totally depends on the right treatment, the kind of epilepsy, and a few other factors.
But for you, as a parent, having your child diagnosed with epilepsy can leave you fraught with worry. You envision your child being free to swim and play, and have sleepovers at friends’ homes. You wish to have them wonder with joy at twinkling fairy lights and play video games without having to worry about seizure triggers. To sleep peacefully at night without having to worry if your child is having a seizure as they sleep in their own room.
EPILEPSY IN CHILDREN
Not to worry, the diagnosis of epilepsy doesn’t need to be the end of childhood and fun. On one hand, you, as a parent, need to take certain precautions and teach your child how to live with the condition. On the other, you and your child can learn to manage to live with epilepsy through trial, error, the experiences of others, and your own learnings.
Initially, you and your child may need to visit several doctors. During these visits, a battery of tests will be done to understand the condition better. You may even need to switch between different medications and treatments so doctors find what works best in your child’s case. These can come with their own set of side effects. But don’t worry, this phase is completely normal. Once your neurologist has a better grasp of how your child’s brain and body react, they will be in a better position to help you both through it. For the efficient success of the treatment and in order for your child to live their best life, speak to your doctor about the right kind of activities your child can do.
ACTIVITIES YOUR CHILD CAN AND CANNOT PERFORM
There are various do’s and don’ts for your child, depending on how old he/she is. As time goes by, educate yourself and your child about his condition, to help them live an independent life. Traveling, education, career, settling down, and raising a family are definitely possible for the vast majority of people with epilepsy. So what would be the initial steps to ensure if your child is diagnosed with epilepsy? Following are a few steps you could follow:
- Educate yourself as much as you can about epilepsy.
- Have an open conversation about epilepsy with your child.
- Help your child speak openly with others about epilepsy.
- Avoid saying things that would make them feel like a problem or burden.
- Always have a positive mindset
- Praise your child’s success.
- Encourage sports, and other interests.
- Help your child make friends.
- Continue family activities and traditions.
- Make time for yourself without feeling guilty. By doing so, you allow your mind to be clear so that you are better able to take care of your child
- Build a strong network for you and your child. Resources are available in plenty online.
- Establish routines.
- Have your child eat meals and take their medication at the same time every day.
- Allow your child to be actively involved in taking their medications.
- Ensure a strict bedtime routine so that your child gets enough sleep to lower the risk of seizures.
- Schedule a regular time for homework.
- Share books on epilepsy for children with your child.
- Consider the option of using a seizure alert monitor for children.
How to take care of your infant or toddler child is diagnosed with epilepsy:
When the brain goes through its most dramatic change in terms of size or growth is usually when seizures may occur most frequently. Hence, learning about seizures and recognizing them as early as possible can help ensure a normal life. It is also important to detect and diagnose a seizure in an infant as they cannot communicate back during a medical test. Parents’ and caretakers’ observations thus fall essentially valuable and are vital for a doctor to make an effective diagnosis to effectively treat infants and toddlers with epilepsy.
School-age Children with Epilepsy:
Having epilepsy may alter a child’s performance in school, what sports they can play, and even how they are treated by their peers. Parents should learn and do everything they can to ensure their child leads an active normal life.
It is best to establish routines and establish clear rules and limits with school-age children. Often, parents worry that upsetting their child could result in a seizure. Usually, if you stay calm and your child is old enough to understand why you are stopping a certain behavior, it should not increase the risk of a seizure. Speak to your child’s doctor on concerns about the best way to discipline.
Speaking freely to your kids’ close network
Just as you learn about epilepsy and the type that your child is diagnosed with, educate your child’s close friends, teachers, etc. Be sure that the people who surround your kid when you aren’t around are aware of symptoms or on-spot treatments in terms of a seizure. This will help keep your mind at ease at all times, ensure the safety of your loved ones, help them feel more comfortable, and do better in school. By having open and honest conversations about epilepsy, as a parent, you can help your child live a life that’s normal and fulfilling.
Use Epilepsy Alert Devices
Apps like the Inspyre by SmartMonitor are the best epilepsy monitoring devices for children. You will need to purchase an Apple or Samsung smartwatch and pair it with the app. When the watch detects seizure-like activity, it will alert you or someone who can provide timely help. This is a great option for school-going kids, those who play outdoors often or sleep in a different room.