Epilepsy & Seizures

A child with epilepsy relaxing in a chair

Medical science has made huge strides in treating epilepsy in children. Our pediatric neurologists and other specialists at Nemours work together, using the most effective, proven medications and treatments to help control and prevent seizures in kids. We treat all children as we would our own so they can do what kids do best: play, laugh and grow into the healthiest adults they can be.

 
Read More About Epilepsy in Children

Nemours neurology specialists have the skills, training and technology to evaluate your child’s seizures and the compassion to find ways to control epileptic seizures with the fewest possible side effects. Our epilepsy program specialists provide a plan of care that’s specially tailored for your child, using medication therapy as the main method of treating epilepsy in children.

Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando


13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

 
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Instruction Sheets

Renowned neurologists at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando work with other specialists to provide comprehensive care in the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy in children as well as childhood and infant seizures.

At Nemours, our goal is to help children with epilepsy participate fully in school and other activities so they can enjoy a childhood that’s playful and promising.

Expert Epilepsy & Seizure Care for Children in Central Florida

There is often no identifiable cause for seizures or epilepsy in children, but our Nemours comprehensive epilepsy team will continue to investigate further to narrow down the possibilities and make a diagnosis so your child can get the right treatment, without delay. Because of this, it’s important to determine whether your child has a form of epilepsy or if these seizure-like events have some other cause.

There is often no identifiable cause for seizures/epilepsy, but our Nemours comprehensive epilepsy team will continue to investigate further to narrow down the possibilities and make a diagnosis so your child can get the right treatment, without delay.

Learn More About Epilepsy & Seizures From Nemours’ KidsHealth.org »

 
Evaluating Epilepsy in Children and Infants

If your child is having seizures, we know it can be scary. But you can help us by providing as much information as possible about what you or others observe during a seizure. If possible, write down as many details as you can remember, including:

  • where and when the episode(s) occurred
  • what your child was doing just before
  • how long the episode(s) lasted
  • any abnormal or involuntary movements or behavior

A Nemours pediatric neurologist will review this information and your child’s medical history, and perform a thorough neurological examination.

 
If Your Child Needs Additional Diagnostic Tests

Medical work-ups for seizures and epilepsy in children requires considering (and ruling out) many possible causes. In addition to a detailed medical history and neurological examination, there are a few tests that can help us determine whether your child has epilepsy or seizures/spells caused by something else. For example:

  • blood tests (glucose/blood sugar, complete blood count, electrolytes and liver and kidney function tests)
  • electroencephalography/EEG (wires attached to the head with glue to record electrical activity in the brain)
  • brain imaging tests (CT or “CAT” scan, MRI and PET scans to look for brain/vessel malformations, tumors or scar tissue)
  • spinal tap/lumbar puncture (check for infections or other issues)

This information helps us determine, if possible, the cause of your child’s episodes so we can move toward an effective treatment. These tests are easily arranged at the hospital on an outpatient basis. In some cases, we may need to schedule an overnight stay for long-term video EEG monitoring.

 
Treating Epilepsy in Children

The treatment for epilepsy and seizures in children depends on the cause. If your child is diagnosed with epilepsy, our goal will be to control the condition and minimize the impact of seizures on daily life. No single treatment for epilepsy works for every child, so the pediatric neurologists who are part of the Nemours epilepsy program will consider all the unique factors that contribute to your child’s condition.

We may recommend one or more of these treatments:

  • Anti-seizure medications: Most kids respond well to this type of therapy. Finding just the right medication and dosage may involve some adjustments and fine-tuning.
  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS): Surgeons implant a small device with a long-lasting battery in the chest, just under the skin. A tiny wire runs from the device to the left vagus nerve, which connects to the brain stem. The device delivers short bursts of electricity at regular intervals, which may help reduce the frequency and severity of your child’s seizures. Implanting the VNS device and wire requires general anesthesia and an overnight stay at the hospital.
  • Ketogenic diet: This precise diet, rich in fats and low in carbohydrates and proteins, can help reduce epilepsy symptoms in some children. If this is right for your child, your Nemours neurology specialist and a nutritionist will guide you and your child about which foods to add and avoid.
  • Pediatric epilepsy surgery: In extreme cases, and if other treatments don’t work for your child, the Nemours comprehensive epilepsy team will make recommendations for further pre-surgical workups and facilitate a referral to a level four surgical epilepsy center.
 
Why It's Important To Treat Epilepsy in Children

Certain types of epileptic seizures in children can cause damage to the brain, impacting cognitive functioning (the way your child learns), behavior, emotional wellness (depression and anxiety), social functioning and more.

This is why it’s important to properly diagnose and treat not only the seizures themselves, but also to monitor and manage any long-term effects they may have on mental health, intellect and learning. We do this through neuropsychological testing, behavioral health therapy and, among other things, education about the condition to help you (and teachers and other caregivers) to help your child reach the highest potential possible.

A Hospital Designed by Families, for Families

At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.

 
If Your Child Needs to Stay Overnight in Our Hospital

You’ll feel right at home in one of our private patient rooms designed with input from families who know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital.

Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless Internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems, and two flat-screen TVs.

Other in-room features include:
  • full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
  • refrigerator for family meals and snacks
  • wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
  • GetWellNetwork interactive television (uniquely based on your child’s age, medical condition and more) and allows your child to watch TV, surf the Web, check e-mail, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team.

Our “hospital within a garden” setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.

We have many more comforts and amenities such as:
  • complimentary valet and parking
  • kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
  • café and coffee shop
  • nondenominational chapel
  • concierge services

Learn More About Nemours Children’s Hospital »

 
Advanced Pediatric Medical Imaging Services Available Onsite

If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours
Children’s Hospital.

Our unique services include:
  • interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. We are very fortunate to have the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the state.
  • neuroradiological or cardiovascular imaging, and fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists see children with complex conditions who require this highly specialized imaging.
  • Central Florida’s only 256-slice Brilliance iCT Scanner: We are one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have this latest generation CAT (or CT) scanner that scans faster than most machines and produces excellent images in a much shorter time with much less radiation exposure for the child.

Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns.

We have also pledged our commitment to the “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Learn More About Medical Imaging at Nemours Children's Hospital »

 
Family-Centered Care Means We're Here for You

At Nemours, we want to hear your concerns and share with you everything we can about your child's condition and treatment. If English is not your first language, we'll make sure you understand what to expect — in your language.

Learn More About Interpreter Services at Nemours Children’s Hospital »

 
With Your Family From Clinic or Hospital to Home: KidsTRACK

If your child has a complex or chronic condition we encourage you to take advantage of KidsTRACK, a unique service of Nemours Children’s Hospital. Located on the first floor of our hospital, KidsTRACK is designed to help families by providing expert assistance and information on all aspects of your child’s care, even before you leave our hospital or clinic.

A KidsTRACK care coordinator is available during every step of diagnosis, treatment and healing — helping your family make a smooth transition from Nemours Children's Hospital to home. Your coordinator works alongside the nursing/case managers in our subspecialty areas and acts as a single point of contact connecting you to medical and community resources.

Simply ask your physician for a referral to KidsTRACK
or call (407) 650-7715.

Learn More About KidsTRACK at Nemours Children's Hospital »