What is the prevalence of pediatric first seizure?

Updated: Aug 16, 2018
  • Author: Shelley R Waite, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Population-based estimates suggest that every year 25,000–40,000 children in the United States experience a first unprovoked seizure. [1] Using the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) definition, this includes multiple seizures within a 24-hour period if the child returns to baseline consciousness between episodes. [2]

Most of these children never experience a recurrence However, a seizure may be the initial presentation of a more serious medical condition or subsequent epilepsy. Historically, epilepsy has been defined as a condition in which a child has 2 or more seizures without a proximal cause for the seizures (unprovoked seizures). In 2013, the ILAE also accepted these 2 alternative conditions: 1) one unprovoked or reflex seizure plus a recurrence risk of at least 60% over the next 10 years; or 2) a diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome. [3]

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