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Published: September 4, 2023

10 Valuable Tips for Parents Living with Pediatric Epilepsy

Parenting a child with epilepsy comes with unique challenges. It is important for parents and caregivers to understand the condition and provide the necessary support. In this article, we will discuss 10 valuable tips for parents and caregivers of children living with epilepsy, based on the insights provided by New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute. One important tip for parents and caregivers of children with epilepsy is to educate themselves about the condition. It is crucial to learn about the different types of seizures, triggers, and treatments available. By understanding the condition, parents and caregivers can better advocate for their child's needs and make informed decisions about their care. Additionally, it is important to communicate with the child's healthcare team and ask questions to ensure that they have access to the most effective treatments and support services.

1. Diagnosing epilepsy in children:

Diagnosing epilepsy in children may require different approaches compared to adults. Medical exams such as EEG and MRI can help in the diagnosis. It is also important to take detailed notes or videos of the seizures to aid in the diagnosis. The ultimate goal is to achieve a seizure-free state while minimizing medication side effects. 

In addition to medical exams, diagnosing epilepsy in children often involves a comprehensive evaluation of their medical history, family history, and developmental milestones. This is because seizures in children can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions, such as febrile seizures or movement disorders. A thorough evaluation helps to differentiate epilepsy from other causes of seizures and to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

2. Monitoring medication:

Consult with a pediatrician and neurologist to determine the appropriate medication for your child. Understand the frequency and timing of medication administration, as well as potential side effects. It is also crucial to inform the school or daycare about the medication and educate caregivers about seizure first aid.

Additionally, it is important to closely monitor your child's response to the medication and communicate any changes or concerns with the healthcare providers. Regular follow-up appointments should be scheduled to assess the effectiveness of the medication and make any necessary adjustments. It is also crucial to educate your child about their condition and the importance of taking their medication as prescribed.

3. Avoiding seizure triggers:

Monitor your child's daily activities for potential triggers. Common triggers include stress, missed medication, and lack of sleep. While infrequently flashing lights may trigger seizures, watching TV or using computers is usually not an issue.

4. Recognizing warning signs of seizures:

Different types of seizures can manifest with varying severity. It is important to recognize warning signs such as excessive staring, jerking movements, rapid eye blinking, stiffening of the body, breathing changes, loss of consciousness, and not responding to noise. If your child appears hazy or confused, it could also be a warning sign. 

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and can occur in individuals of all ages, including children. It is crucial for parents and caregivers to be aware of the different types of seizures and their warning signs, as early recognition and appropriate management can help ensure the safety and well-being of the child.

5. Emphasizing positivity:

Maintaining a positive attitude can significantly impact your child's mood and outlook. Stay positive and avoid discussing burdens associated with epilepsy. Provide support and encouragement, focusing on what your child can do. Help your child cope with epilepsy by fostering a positive environment. 

In addition to maintaining a positive attitude, it is important to educate yourself and your child about pediatric epilepsy. This will help both of you understand the condition better and manage any challenges that may arise. Encourage open communication and ensure that your child feels comfortable discussing their feelings and concerns about epilepsy. By being informed and supportive, you can empower your child to take control of their condition and live a fulfilling life despite any limitations epilepsy may impose. Remember to celebrate their accomplishments and always remind them of their strengths and abilities.

6. Watching for changes in behavior or mood:

Epilepsy and medication can affect behavior and mood. Keep an eye out for any learning problems, irritability, withdrawal from friends and family, changes in eating habits, or negative statements from your child. Trouble sleeping or other noticeable changes should also be monitored.

7. Demystifying epilepsy:

Encourage open discussion about epilepsy with your child. Educate family and friends about seizures and ensure they know how to assist in emergencies. Utilize resources from organizations like the Epilepsy Foundation to enhance understanding. Effective communication can help your child feel better about their condition.

8. Encouraging normal activities:

Allow your child to have social contact with other children and participate in approved activities. Focus on their abilities and encourage their participation. While epilepsy may have certain restrictions, it should not hinder your child from being active. Support their involvement in everyday life. 

In addition to encouraging social contact and participation in approved activities, it is important to educate those around your child about epilepsy and how to provide support. This includes informing teachers, coaches, and other parents about your child's condition, triggers, and appropriate responses in case of a seizure. 

9. Recognizing potential changes in epilepsy:

Many children outgrow epilepsy as they reach their teenage years. Your care team may suggest stopping medication if your child has been seizure-free. It is important to monitor their progress and consult with the care team regularly. Be prepared for potential changes in epilepsy and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

10. Taking time for self-care:

As a parent or caregiver, it is crucial to prioritize self-care and avoid burnout. Take time away from your responsibilities to recharge. Remember, your well-being directly impacts your ability to provide support to your child. Seek support from others and prioritize your personal well-being.


Parenting a child with epilepsy in New Jersey requires a deep understanding, immense patience, and unwavering support. To ensure the best care and a positive environment for your child, it is crucial to follow these 10 invaluable tips. Remember to seek personalized advice and guidance from healthcare professionals at the New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute as you navigate the journey of managing pediatric epilepsy. 

In addition to seeking professional guidance, it is important to educate yourself about epilepsy and its management. Understand the different types of seizures your child may experience, their triggers, and the appropriate response during a seizure. This knowledge will empower you to effectively advocate for your child's needs and ensure their safety. It is also essential to create a strong support network, including healthcare professionals, therapists, and other parents of children with epilepsy. Connecting with others who are going through similar experiences can provide valuable emotional support and practical advice. Remember to prioritize self-care as well, as parenting a child with epilepsy can be physically and emotionally demanding. Taking care of yourself will enable you to better support your child and maintain a positive environment for their well-being.

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NOTICE: This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for a patient/physician relationship.

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