Expert Epilepsy Care by a Multidisciplinary Pediatric Team  

Any medical issue or condition causes concern with children, but it is especially frightening when your child has a seizure. Children deserve an environment that focuses on their care and their specific needs. We know any pediatric condition or childhood health issue can significantly impact growth and development with our young patients. Our team of pediatric epilepsy specialists at Arkansas Children’s focuses on the care of children, so we know how to help any of their unique needs.

Our team of experts is skilled in diagnosing and treating disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system. Each child has unique growth patterns and progresses at an individualized pace, so seeing a pediatric specialist sooner - with the multidisciplinary clinical support that only a children’s hospital can provide – can make a real difference in your child’s future.

A Level 4 program that’s exploring new frontiers for your child. It might surprise you to know that most epilepsy is treatable. Especially at Arkansas Children’s, a designated Level 4 Epilepsy Center, where board-certified specialists deliver some of the most advanced care in the world. That means we’re giving children the greatest chance at a life that’s not defined by epilepsy. So, if your child has been diagnosed, count on nationally leading care close to home.

Specialized Care Can Improve a Child’s Quality of Life

Mild seizures can affect attention or the ability to process information. With more complex cases of epilepsy, a profound effect can be seen on growth and development milestones as the frequency or severity of seizures continues or worsens. The specialized care provided by experts that focus on a specific medical disorder such as epilepsy can fundamentally change patients' short and long-term quality of life. By bringing your child to the right place earlier for evaluation and treatment plans, the effects of epilepsy on growth and development are addressed as soon as possible. With the help of medication therapy, surgical correction, or other advanced care, seizures can be controlled in many cases.

Epileptologists Provide Advanced Care for Epilepsy Patients

Our board-certified pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons have advanced training in the care of epilepsy for children. Called epileptologists, our pediatric epilepsy specialists are neurologists who have extra specialized training in the medical, psychological, social, and educational issues involved with children with epilepsy. Focusing on this clinical specialty, the experience of our epileptologists allows them better to determine an accurate diagnosis and the optimum treatment plan.

Check Symptoms

As the only healthcare center in the state with subspecialty pediatric care in the neurosciences and an Epilepsy Program for children, our team provides care for any medical need.

Possible Conditions

Meet the Team

Your care team will consist of an epileptologist – a doctor with special training to treat children with epilepsy and specialty care nurses. Our specialty nurses coordinate care every step of the way and are a central contact, so family members have someone to call with questions or to find out more information for day-to-day concerns. This team of experts provides the continuity of care needed to improve the quality of life for your child.

Refer a Patient

At Arkansas Children’s, we know that a child’s primary care physician has the best understanding of each child’s individual health history, including growth and development milestones. If your patient needs diagnosis or treatment for any disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system, including specialized epilepsy care, our team is here to help. With specially trained epileptologists and skilled neurosurgeons, if surgical intervention is the right treatment option, our team is here to assist in short-term or long-term care management.  

We accept patients through a physician referral. If you would like to learn more about our services for epilepsy care, please contact our Arkansas Children's Appointment Center to make a referral at 501-364-4000.

Locations

To contact the clinic coordinator, call 501-364-1850.

Coordination of Care for Epilepsy Management

Arkansas Children's provides expert care for diagnosing and treating epilepsy and seizure disorders in children appropriate for each child at their growth and development phase.

Technology and Innovation

Our team of pediatric epilepsy specialists at Arkansas Children’s provides advanced care through state-of-the-art technology and innovative approaches for improved outcomes. As an academic medical center, our process includes the continuous discovery of new and improved techniques, with access to clinical trials and research, to better control seizures for our young epilepsy patients. We can obtain the highest quality images through systematic investment in the best technology through our Neurophysiological Lab test capabilities.

Possible Treatments

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Resources for Daily Living

Our team of epilepsy specialists provides helpful resources for improved daily living.

What is Diastat?

Diastat is a rectal medication of diazepam (valium) approved for treatment of prolonged seizures or clusters of seizures.

When should Diastat be given?

Diastat should be given for seizures lasting longer than five minutes or a cluster of seizures that occurs one right after the other.

How soon should the seizure stop after giving Diastat?

After giving the Diastat, the caregiver should notice effects of the medication within five minutes.  If the seizure continues another five minutes, a second Diastat can be given as well as seeking medical attention (call 911 or going to local emergency room).

If Diastat stops the seizure, what should you do?

Continue to monitor the child.  It is not always necessary to take him/her to the emergency room unless he/she is having trouble breathing or has become injured during the seizure.

What are the side effects of Diastat?

The most common side effect is sleepiness.  The child will most likely be tired from the seizure activity, also.  Other less likely side effects include:  dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, nervousness, feeling unsteady or clumsy, or a rash.

Helpful Hints

  • Always lubricate your Diastat syringe with KY jelly before administering to your child.
  • Place the tip of the syringe in the rectum just far enough so that all of the medicine goes into the rectum. 
  • Hold the butt cheeks together after administering to assure all the medicine has been absorbed.
  • Be sure that your child has Diastat with him/her wherever he/she goes.

Most seizures end after 1 to 2 minutes without harm.  These seizures do not usually require a trip to the emergency room.  You do not usually have to do anything if a person has brief periods of staring or shaking.  Seizure first aid should be used with shaking or jerking lasting longer than a few seconds.

If you child begins to have a seizure:
  • Lay him/her on the floor on his/her side to keep his/her airway open
  • Clear the area around him/her of anything hard or sharp
  • Do not try to hold him/her down or stop his/her movements
  • Loosen any tight clothing, especially anything around his/her neck
  • Do not put anything in his/her mouth – she will not swallow his/her tongue
  • Time the seizure
If your child’s seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes:
  • Administer Diastat if his/her neurologist has prescribed this medicine
  • If Diastat has not been prescribed, call 911 or take your child to your local emergency room
If your child’s seizure continues after administration of the Diastat:
  • Administer the 2nd Diastat syringe if the seizure has lasted 5 minutes after the 1st syringe was given
  • Prepare to call 911 or take your child to your local emergency room

Although your child has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, we encourage you to let your child live a normal life.  Children with seizures do not usually have any physical limitations or activity restrictions. 

There is a chance that your child could lose consciousness during a seizure, so there are certain circumstances that your child should avoid or be closely monitored.  Your child’s life could be at risk if he/she were to lose consciousness during certain activities.

  • Swimming/Taking a Bath:  Your child should always be closely monitored while in the water.  Encourage your child to take showers instead of sitting in a tub of water.
  • Fire:  Your child should always be closely monitored around campfires, fireplaces, or hot ovens/stoves.
  • Heights:  Your child should always be closely monitored when activity includes heights – monkey bars, trees, etc.
  • Driving:  Arkansas law requires your child to be seizure-free for one year before driving.

Please be aware that your child may have increased seizures when he/she is sick, running a fever, sleep-deprived, or under stress.  It is also very important that your child not miss his/her medication because this could cause increased seizures.

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