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Seizures in children

Fits or seizures can have a variety of causes, and most will not be caused by a brain tumour. If your child has not had a seizure before, it should be viewed as a potentially serious symptom.

What is a seizure?

During a seizure, a person may or may not become unconscious. They may appear to be ‘absent’ from what is happening around them. Sometimes they may experience jerking or twitching of their whole body or a hand, arm or leg. If your child experiences a seizure for the first time, you should always seek medical help.

If you think your child is having a seizure, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

In babies and young children, seizures can sometimes be caused by a fever. Seizures accompanied by a high temperature are not usually due to a serious underlying illness, but you should still seek medical help as soon as possible.

I think I have a brain tumour, what should I do?

Brain tumours are rare, however, if you’re worried and a symptom persists or if your child has more than one symptom of a brain tumour then:

  • Talk to your doctor
    GP appointments are usually quite short, so make sure you find out how to best prepare for your child’s appointment.
  • Get an eye test
    If your child’s symptoms are limited to changes in vision and/or headaches, get their eyes tested by an optician before seeing your GP.
  • Go to A&E
    If the symptoms are sudden or severe, you should go to your emergency department or call 999.

Should I speak to a doctor during the coronavirus pandemic?

We understand you may feel worried about seeking help from your GP during the coronavirus pandemic – but please don’t delay speaking to a healthcare professional.

The NHS and your GP are still here for you and have made changes that make it easier to safely speak to a healthcare professional and get medical help if you need it.

It’s more important than ever for you to prepare for your appointments by understanding what might happen during the appointment and what questions you want to ask.

More information

Download the HeadSmart symptoms card – PDF

Pocket-sized symptoms card that list the common signs and symptoms of childhood brain tumours, which you can take with you to your family GP if you are concerned about your child.

Check the signs and symptoms of a brain tumour

Know the Signs and Symptoms

Although brain tumours are rare, if you or a loved one are experiencing two or more of the signs and symptoms it’s important that you speak to your doctor to rule out a brain tumour.

Share your experiences and help create change

By taking part in our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys and sharing your experiences, you can help us improve treatment and care for everyone affected by a brain tumour.