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The lights are on but nobody is home!!

Ever spoken to someone and felt that they were never listening? Heard of the term “in one ear and out of the other”? Well if you haven’t, now you know!

So as you all know, I have the most awesome job in the world and that is a First Aid Trainer aka training super heroes aka spreading the awesomeness. When ever we get to the topic of seizures, I like to talk about Grand mal and Petit mal seizures (French for Big illness and Little illness). What this entry is going to focus on is the Petit mal seizures as the response I get when teaching this topic, 90% of the learners are taken back by it.

So…. What is a Petit mal seizure?

To put it simply, our brain uses electrical impulses to function. However a person who experiences seizures, these electrical impulses become abnormal or misfire resulting the casualty in experiencing a seizure or in this case a Petit mal seizure. In addition, Petit mal seizures usually happens with children under the age of 5, but can happen to adults also.

How would I be able to recognise these seizures?

The most basic way of explaining this is by saying that the person looks as if they are daydreaming for roughly 10-15 seconds. So just imagine someone is talking to you and in mid sentence they stop and start staring out into space, you are talking to them but it is almost as if they are ignoring you or just zoning out. Ergo Petit mal seizures are also known as absent seizures.Some other symptoms include:

  • Eyes fluttering

  • Lip smacking

  • They look as if they are chewing something.

  • Change in facial expression

In some occasions, they may even continue a task what they were doing before the seizure and not even realise that they’ve had a seizure.

Click here and count how many seizures this child has. You’ll be amazed how easy it can be missed if you weren’t aware of them.

What could you do to help?

The best advice is to be there for them, support them, keep them safe, plenty of reassurance and do not embarrass them. If you have any concerns about this, seek medical advice as soon as you can, especially if they aren’t receiving any treatment.

“Mans best support is a very dear friend” – Cicero


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