Epilepsy rarely triggered by films

Parents concerned about films triggering epileptic fits in their children should be aware there are many other more common seizure triggers.

There has been concern that a scene in the film Twilight Breaking Dawn affects those with photosensitive epilepsy.

According to national charity for children aged 5 to 25 years Young Epilepsy, around 5 per cent of children with epilepsy find their seizures triggered by flashing or flickering lights, patterns or geometric shapes.

A flicker rate between five and thirty times a second is most likely to cause seizures in these children.

More commonly, seizure triggers include tiredness, stress, illness, excitement and changes to medication or forgetting to take medication.

Epilepsy seizures are caused by a sudden burst of electrical activity in the brain causing messages to the rest of the body to become confused.

There are around 112,000 people in the UK aged 25 or younger with the condition, which is the most common serious childhood neurological condition.

The charity advises parents who find their child having a seizure to:
Note the time it starts and ends
Do not restrain the child’s movements
Protect the airway
 Loosen tight clothes around the neck
Wipe away excess saliva
Stay with your child until the seizure ends
Never put anything in your child’s mouth
Let the seizure run its course
When the jerking has finished, roll the child onto their side

For more information, visit: www.youngepilepsy.org.uk