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What Can Cause a Seizure in a Child?

An occurrence of an episode of seizure is due to the abnormal functioning of the brain, resulting in a changed level of attention or consciousness. There are different types of seizures that can occur in different parts of the brain which may affect a single part of the body or whole of it. Seizures can occur for a variety of reasons. Newborn babies and children are a great risk of encountering an episode of seizure than a full grown adult.

What Can Cause a Seizure in a Child?

What Can Cause a Seizure in a Child?

Biological Reasons That Can Cause A Seizure In A Child

Seizures can occur for a variety of reasons. An episode of seizure can occur at the most random time without any obvious cause. Proper diagnosis of a child can bring a number of underlying causes that may trigger a seizure in a child.

  • The most common cause of the seizure is a fever. Children are observed to have an episode of seizure when their temperature rises very fast usually to 102 degrees or even higher. Such are called fever-induced seizures which generally do not cause epilepsy.
  • Flashing and flickering lights caused by sources like sunlight, video games and computer screens can trigger seizures in some children with epilepsy. This condition is quite rare for people of belief and is called photosensitivity. In such cases, the patients may be advised to use polarized sunglasses and taking breaks away from computer screens to avoid seizures.
  • An important reason for seizures in children includes bleeding in the internal organs, especially brain. This needs to be diagnosed as early as possible for proper treatment.
    If blood vessels inside the child’s body are diseased, a seizure is a common symptom.
  • Children having certain kind of brain disorder are at increased risk of having seizures. Children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation, tuberous sclerosis or neurofibromatosis are easy preys of recurring seizures.
  • Seizures can be a result of hormonal changes too. Certain girls may encounter frequent seizures during their puberty or when they go through their menstrual cycle.

Lifestyle Habits That Can Cause Seizures In Children

  • Certain lifestyle habits may contribute to seizures. Not getting enough sleep or drug and alcohol abuse at an early age may help in the development of an episode of seizure among the youth.
  • It must be made sure for a child who is diagnosed with epilepsy and is under treatment, that he is given proper medication. Missed medication increases the chance of encountering frequent epileptic fits.
  • It is seen that certain kinds of food allergies can also provoke seizures in children. Children at growing age do not have a fully developed immune system to fight food allergies and may become susceptible to seizures.
  • Psychological factors like stress and anxiety may also contribute to the onset of seizures among children.

It is to be remembered that certain lifestyle changes can help prevent seizures in the child. The doctor may ask to switch to a ketogenic diet in case of incidence of seizures among children. Care should be taken that the child gets proper sleep.

What Happens Inside A Child’s Brain During An Episode Of Seizure?

As it is known, that a brain contains numerous nerve cells called neurons that send some electrical signals to one another in order to communicate with each other. This communication is important to maintain the homeostasis of the body. It is important to understand that a seizure occurs when a large number of electrical impulses are sent by a number of neurons at the same time. This improper and intense wave of electricity excites the brain resulting in seizures. Externally it is seen to cause muscular spasms, convulsion, irrational behavior and loss of consciousness.


  1. Cleveland Clinic – Seizures in Children
  2. Mayo Clinic – Childhood Seizures: Causes
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics – Seizures in Children
  4. Epilepsy Foundation – Seizures in Children
  5. WebMD – Seizures in Children: Causes, Treatments, and More

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 9, 2023

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