Children with epilepsy
There are various types of epilepsy: Most types only occur during childhood (4-12 years of age) and go away as the child grows up. Most children respond well to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) to control the seizures. Around one-third of the children nevertheless continue to have seizures. One of the reasons for this is that some types of epilepsy are so very complex that AEDs are insufficiently effective. Furthermore, AEDs can sometimes cause side effects in children, as a result of which alternative treatments may be considered. Some children also have seizures at night, which can sometimes go unnoticed. This is a cause of stress for many parents and carers.
Parents are therefore urged to think carefully about the safety aspect and decisions as to what your child may and may not do. It will likely change your everyday life. So what causes epilepsy in children? What are the symptoms? When can a diagnosis be made? What are the consequences for you and your child? What are the treatment options? And how can you create a sense of security and confidence?
Around 50-70% of the children eventually grow out of their seizures. This is most likely to happen in children who respond well to medication, have relatively few seizures or when there is no evidence of an underlying neurological problem.
This AED medication makes the brain cells less sensitive to stimuli and can control (stop) or reduce the seizures. Which type of medication is suitable for your child will depend on the cause and type of their epilepsy. Do look out for side effects. Some drugs can affect children’s behaviour or make them less alert, for example. Always discuss any side effects with your attending physician.
In some cases, if, for example, the seizures do not stop, the medication has many side effects, or your child’s development is not progressing as expected, he/she may be referred to an epilepsy centre or university hospital. An operation may sometimes be an option but is not without risk.
A safe and effective seizure detection system
NightWatch is the first clinically proven system that effectively warns of potentially dangerous nocturnal seizures. This is done using an armband which monitors two specific characteristics of urgent seizures: an irregular heart rhythm and convulsions. If NightWatch identifies a potentially severe epileptic seizure it sends a wireless alarm signal to you, the parent/carer, via the corresponding base station in your room/bedroom. NightWatch is very simple to install and use in any home situation.
Reduces the burden of care
Extensive clinical studies have proven that NightWatch can detect 85% of all severe nocturnal seizures and as many as 96% of the most dangerous seizures. The wireless system reduces the burden of care on you, the parent/carer, by alerting you in the event of a nocturnal epileptic seizure. As well as helping to increase confidence and reduce stress, it is also reassuring to parents. You can go back to sleeping in your own bed, both you and your child will have more privacy and you will have more restful nights. After all, everyone needs a good night’s sleep in order to function properly.
The system will warn you of possible dangerous seizures sooner and more often, thus reducing the risk of medical complications. Optionally, the NightWatch data can be recorded to enable later read-out via an online portal. This provides a better indication of how your child’s night was. You will also be able to share the data with your neurologist, enabling them to monitor the situation and advise accordingly.