Seizures may cause sudden unexplained deaths in children

While most parents are well aware of the risks of SIDS, when an infant dies suddenly in their sleep without any apparent reason, some 400 children who are older, toddler-age, die every year without explanation often while they are sleeping.

It’s called Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Children, SUDC. Now, new research may reveal seizures are the reason.

The new information comes from a study involving video from baby monitors and security cameras of children who died while they were sleeping. Click here to read the study.

Researchers were able to determine at least one in every three died as the result of a potential seizure, with the majority of the deaths involving children between 1 and 4 years old. In addition, most were boys and the deaths were more common during the winter.

Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen did not participate in the study, but says while toddler deaths from seizures are rare, having one could cause or be caused by a condition a parent is unaware exists. “It may be cardiac arrhythmias. It may be apnea or the child stopping breathing,” he explained.

Goldhagen said, in general, there aren’t really any warning signs of a seizure, which is why family history is a big factor.

“Families that have seizures in the parent, in particular, in the parents, should talk to their primary care doctors about the potential risks,” he said.

He says among the children who died without explanation there had been a history of febrile seizures, meaning the child’s fever spiked quickly, which is an important reminder for parents to call their pediatrician when their child develops a high fever.

Goldhagen also added just because a child has a seizure does not mean they will die. “That’s very important to understand,” he said.

While this new research revealed unexplained toddler deaths could be caused by seizures, it did not find a link between seizures and infant deaths.

When it comes to preventing SIDS in infants, Goldhagen said parents should know the best way to prevent death is to make sure you put your baby to sleep on their back, with nothing in their crib, no pillows, no bumpers and no blankets. He also said a parent should never sleep with their baby in the same bed.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.