CDC Features: Epilepsy in Children
It's Epilepsy Awareness Month! Learn more about how epilepsy affects kids.
The term epilepsy is a broad term used for conditions that affect the brain and cause recurring seizures. More than 450,000 children have epilepsy in the United States Picture a school with 1,000 students—that means at least 6 students would have epilepsy.
A CDC study showed that students aged 6–17 years with epilepsy were more likely to miss 11 or more days of school in the past year compared with students who had health concerns other than epilepsy. Also, students with epilepsy were found to be more likely to have difficulties in school, use special education services, and have activity limitations such as less participation in sports or clubs.
Experts don't know what causes epilepsy in all cases. We do know that it's very important to get appropriate medical care to control seizures. Uncontrolled seizures can:
Cause other health problems to develop.
Lead to injuries.
Increase the risk of death.
Talk with your child's heath care provider to make sure your child's seizures are controlled as much as possible.
Explore different treatment options for your child with epilepsy.
Learn more about how to help teens with epilepsy with CDC's You Are Not Alone toolkit for parents.
Encourage your child's school nurse, school staff, or day care providers to become more familiar with epilepsy and first aid for seizures through the Epilepsy Foundation's programs:
Learn more about epilepsy from the CDC Epilepsy Program.