Children in a group setting

Epilepsy is a common long-term illness in children. In Finland approximately 5,000 children under 15-years of age have epilepsy.

An epileptic seizure is caused by a temporary disruption in the brain’s electronic signals. An epileptic seizure is a symptom, which disturbs the child’s daily performance. There are many different types of epileptic seizures, which can last from seconds to minutes. Usually, a seizure lasts for a few minutes and passes by on its own. There can be different motor symptoms or feelings during a seizure. Level of consciousness and contact can either stay as normal or weaken during the seizure.

Most epilepsies can be well controlled with medication and there can be many attempts with different medication. However, for some, the seizures continue regardless of medication.

Effects of medication on children

Any medication can have side effects. A common example is tiredness, thus a child may need the opportunity to rest. Usually this can happen in the classroom without any need for special arrangements. Medication can also influence behaviour. If a child’s epilepsy medication causes changes to their daily performance, this is not considered a behavioural problem but rather a side effect of their medication.

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