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Fast Facts

  • Over 325,000 school-age children through age 14 have epilepsy.
  • 45,000 children under the age of 15 develop epilepsy each year.
  • Between 75,000 and 100,000 children under the age of 5 have experienced a febrile (fever-induced) seizure.
  • In special populations, epilepsy occurs in:
    • 10 percent of children with mental retardation
    • 10 percent of children with cerebral palsy
    • 50 percent of children with both disabilities
  • The most common childhood seizure is an absence seizure, resembling staring or daydreaming. Teachers are often the first to notice this type of seizure.
  • Most children with epilepsy have IQs in the normal range or higher.
  • Self-esteem is a big concern in children with epilepsy. Studies comparing children with epilepsy with children who have other chronic health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, show that having seizures has a more negative effect on how children feel about themselves.
  • Seizures, and the medications used to treat them, may impact memory, concentration, and other cognitive functions, resulting in learning difficulties.

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An Independently Incorporated Affiliate of the Epilepsy Foundation of America