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Can Excessive Gadget Use Cause a Seizure?

Last week, a Facebook post by mom Maricon Molvizar Collamar about her 6-year-olds screen time went viral. Shared over 250,000 times and
covered by several news sites, it detailed her daughter Mikayla's first seizure episode that was allegedly caused by the preschoolers excessive gadget

In her post, Maricon recalled that on the night of the incident, she found her daughter lying on the floor, terrified, and shaking uncontrollably.
Mikayla, still trembling, told her mom repeatedly that she couldnt move her left arm. Napansin ko na tabingi yung right side ng lips niya at bulol
siya magsalita. Alarmed, Maricon rushed her daughter to a hospitals emergency room where she was soon confined.

Chineck si Mikayla, nagbigay ng physical tests, tapos sinabihan kami na need ng EEG at MRI dahil nagsuffer si Mikayla ng focal seizure. Inalam
namin ang naging cause, di masagot ng [pediatrician] ng maayos kung bakit na-trigger dahil wala pang EEG at MRI pero mostly the reason is
excessive use of gadgets, wrote Marcon.

The results of the EEG and MRI, however, came back negative, which prompted Mikayla's neurosurgeon and pediatric neurologist to request for
another MRI to be conducted in two week's time. In the meantime, Mikayla was given medication for seizure prevention and was advised to limit
gadget use to two hours a day.

Maricon, who is an entreprenuer with no household help, admitted that she had let her daughter have free reign over her tablet since the start of
summer break. Mas nabigyan ko ng oras ang projects ko kaya na neglect ko si Mikayla at hinayaan ko gumamit ng iPad kasi alam kong wala
namang mangyayari sa kanya ng dahil lang sa iPad, she wrote.

She wanted parents to learn from her scary experience. Kaya po ako nagpost ay para maiwasan niyo ito dahil sa totoo lang nakakatakot ang
pangyayari. Para po maiwasan natin sa mga anak natin ang ganitong klaseng sakit, i-minimal use natin sila sa mga gadgets, tv or computer at

Hindi ko din po sinasabi sa post kong ito na kung ang anak ko ay nagka-seizure ay meron din ang anak niyo. Ang sa akin lang po ay iwasan natin
silang gumamit ng matagalan ng mga gadgets. Ito po ay para sa kalusugan ng ating mga anak, the mom wrote.

5 Serious Symptoms in Children You Should Never Ignore

We asked doctors how likely can excessive gadget use cause focal seizures. Dr. Loudella V. Calotes-Castillo, a pediatric neurologist and board
member of the Child Neurology Society of the Philippines, clarified to Smart Parenting, "Gadgets, per se, do not cause seizures. To date, there is no
direct association with gadget use and seizures.

"However, certain seizures can be triggered -- but not caused -- by blinking lights or flashes of lights. Fatigue from excessive gadget use triggers
seizures as well."

Neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Criscely Go, who holds consultations at De Los Santos Medical Center, agreed but added that more tests need to be
conducted to find the true cause of the seizure. Epilepsy could be one of them.

There are many kinds of epilepsy syndromes especially among kids. Some epilepsies can be quite photosensitive -- very sensitive to light -- which
may be the case here. This could have been Mikayla's first ever attack provoked by the lights from the gadget, said Dr. Go.

Interviewed for the TV program Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, pediatric neurologistDr. Cherie Tecson-Delos Santos explained how a focal seizure is a
possible manifestation of epilepsy and what Mikayla experienced was common with children who have the condition.

Ang ibang bata after nila magkombulsiyon, lalo na yung mga focal seizure, nagkakaroon sila ng tinatawag na Todd's Paralysis. Ito yung temporary
or panandaliang pagkaparalisa ng isang parte ng katawan. Isa talaga siyang phenomenon na associated sa seizures lalo na sa mga batang may
epilepsy, said Dr. Tecson-Delos Santos.

What are the common causes of seizures? Dr. Calotes-Castillo says it differs by age groups. Focal seizures in babies and younger children are
usually caused by a congenital abnormality of the brain, infection, and tumors.

(According to Dr. Calotes-Castillo, focal seizures originate from a specific part of the brain. It usually manifests with a localized hand jerk or twitch
with or without impaired awareness. Generalized seizures from both sides of the brain can appear as jerking or stiffening of all limbs with impaired

Even if gadgets do not cause seizures, doctors still stress the importance of monitored gadget use in children. There are still problems that can
result from it, like behavioral issues, said Dr. Go.

Recent guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children below 18 months old should not get any screen time,
and children 2 to 5 years old should only be allowed a maximum of one hour of screen time composed of high-quality educational children's
programs. Find the full AAP recommendations here.

For children with health conditions that can cause a seizure, Dr. Calotes-Castillo advised parents to seek consultation. It is best that families should
discuss with their pediatrician or pediatric neurologist if their children's seizure type is particularly provoked by flashes or blinking lights.

Prolonged use of gadgets causes seizure in children Medical Expert

MANILA, Philippines Facebook posts of Icon Molvizar Collamar, received 70,000 comments and more than 200,000 shares after it
went viral on Monday.
Icon shared what happened to her grade 2 daughter, Mikayla, after prolonged use of gadgets.
Maricon claims to be a momtrepreneur and spends most of her time attending to her business which is crafting.
Most of the time she lets her daughter play with her gadget or just watch TV.
On June 27, she saw her daughter lying on the floor having a seizure.
The child couldnt move her arm. Her lips were dry and she couldnt speak. Maricon immediately sought a doctors help.

After conducting medical tests, the neuropedia said Mikayla suffered from focal seizure. Such condition is oftentimes caused by
excessive use of gadgets, watching TV and overexposure to computers
After what happened, Maricon decided to raise awareness among her fellow parents through social media.

According to Dr. Tan Cho-Chiong , a neuro- psychiatrist, prolonged use of gadgets and exposure to television and computers can
contribute much to a child developing seizure.

I think it is true because children with epilepsy whether partial or general seizure, because gadgets have pictures, movies changes
color, flashes of light and color will stimulate the brain for those patients with epilepsy and partial seizure, Dr. Tan said.
He advised parents not to let their children, age ten years old and below to use tablet and cellphones

Children are using a lot of cellphones with internet. Cellphones have radiation . . . the penetration of radiation into the brain may be too
strong for young children, Dr. Tan said.
If they have these history of seizure, they should avoid these. Try to use it minimally and consult a doctor for the prescription and
dosage of medicine, he added.
Dr. Tan explained that seizure has various causes that is why it is important for parents to consult a neurologist or a neuro pedia once a
child lost consciousness, have uncontrollable body movements and symptoms of epilepsy.
He also advised parents and guardians to always be open to their children.

Meanwhile, Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Asec. Eric Tayag said, Talk to children, they should limit the use of television.
Two hours is more than enough, and if someone will experience this kind of seizure they should report it for us to further study it also.
DOH is planning to investigate the case of Mikayla to find out more about the reasons of her focal seizure.

We are checking on the evidence. We also believe that parents should give proper discipline to their children when it comes to using
gadgets, Tayag added. Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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