5. Evaluating the Child with Seizures

  1. James W. Wheless
  1. Kristen Park and
  2. Susan Koh

Published Online: 1 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch5

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

How to Cite

Park, K. and Koh, S. (2012) Evaluating the Child with Seizures, in Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents (ed J. W. Wheless), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch5

Editor Information

  1. Department of Pediatric Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and Neuroscience Institute, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

Author Information

  1. Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470741238

Online ISBN: 9781119998600



  • diagnosis;
  • assessment;
  • evaluation;
  • recurrence risk;
  • comorbidity;
  • history;
  • EEG;
  • neuroimaging;
  • examination;
  • laboratory testing


Evaluating the child with seizures is a complex process that often involves a variety of different care providers in several settings, including pediatricians, emergency room personnel, teachers, and parents along with the neurologist who may be ultimately responsible for the diagnosis and management of the patient. This chapter will attempt to discuss the tools and diagnostic tests involved in this process, and current practice parameters regarding emergent evaluation and initial assessment. We outline a strategy for evaluation of seizures that includes a discussion of accurate diagnosis, etiology, and assessment of recurrence risk in order to determine appropriate management and counseling. This covers history-taking, assessment of comorbidities, and physical examination. Additional neurodiagnostic assessments are also considered, including EEG, neuroimaging, and laboratory testing.