A Fit Solution

On World Epilepsy Day, neurologists in the city talk about the precautions and care required to control fits

Convulsion or 'fit' affects five per cent children. The child may fall to the ground, with rolling of eyes, frothing from mouth and twitching of arms and legs.

On Epilepsy Day (December 8), the Pediatric Neurology Clinic at Bharati Hospital that caters to about 3,000 children with epilepsy, conducted a special event to dispel several myths and create awareness about how the condition is treatable. According to Dr Sanjay Lalwani, Medical Director of the hospital, the theme of the event was "Caution with Care" and was aimed at generating awareness regarding epilepsy in children. While 52 children and parents attended the highlight was a skit in Marathi that covered various aspects important for the care of a child with epilepsy.

"Parents need to be counselled regarding maintaining a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, timely meals, limiting TV-watching and encouraging education and physical activity," say Dr. Surekha Rajadhyaksha and Dr. Kavita Srivastava. The clinic that has facilities for video EEG and 1.5 Tesla MRI to evaluate the children in detail for the type and cause of epilepsy. In children who are difficult to control on medicines, options such as ketogenic diet and surgical evaluation are also available, the doctors pointed out.

In older children, a cautious approach is advised while driving, swimming and travelling. If the epilepsy is well controlled, they can choose any career, can marry and have children like any other person. The parents and other contacts are counselled regarding the first aid to be given at the time of seizure. Lalwani stressed that the society needs to be educated about this common but frequently misdiagnosed condition as there are many myths surrounding this disease.

"The stigma causes psycho-emotional trauma and the parents try to hide the condition or are scared to seek appropriate care. It should be emphasised that this is not an infectious or transmissible disease. If diagnosed and treated, children with epilepsy can get educated and enjoy their life," he says.

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