HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - This week is Infantile Spasms Awareness Week, a time dedicated to making sure parents are aware of the signs of what doctors say is a medical emergency.
Infantile spasms are a catastrophic form of epilepsy that occur in a child’s first year of life. While these subtle seizures are difficult to diagnose, they are very serious, making the need for awareness crucial.
“They can have a tremendous detriment to the child’s development in this critical time of brain growth,” says Dr. Martina Bebin, a pediatric neurologist.
Some signs to look out for include extension of the arms, unusual bending of the lower body or even subtle eye movements.
While it’s known that healthy babies wiggle, and their fidgets are rarely sign of infantile spasms, it’s important to remember that you know your baby best. If you notice something isn’t right, you’re urged to take a video and call your primary care physician immediately. From there, doctors can move forward with a diagnosis and proper treatment.
“Parents are very keen and observe their children," says Bebin. “So, they really need to trust their gut.”
For more information on infantile spasms, click here.