Infant seizures: What are the possible causes?

Seizures occur if the electrical signs in the brain become chaotic. Among infants, the signs of a seizure might be non-specific and vary from smacking of the lips and groan-like noises to a full-blown generalized shaking of the body.

The seizures that occur among infants have various causes including metabolic ailments, infections, birth injuries, trauma and febrile seizures.


An infection in the central nervous system might trigger seizures such as meningitis and encephalitis. Among infants, viruses specifically enteroviruses can trigger encephalitis.

The herpes simplex virus can also trigger dangerous seizures and infection of the brain. Take note that group B strep is still the usual bacterial root of meningitis among newborns.



The usual cause of symptomatic seizures among infants is malfunction of the brain due to lack of oxygen.

Some infants are born with ailments that disrupt with the normal metabolic function of the body. Certain conditions can cause hypoglycemia. If the level of glucose drops below a certain level, it can cause seizures.

Take note that infants smaller than normal weight upon birth typically have low blood glucose. Another risk factor is if the mother has gestational diabetes. Once this occurs, the glucose level of the child rapidly drops after birth, resulting to lethargy, difficulty feeding and potentially seizures.

Birth and trauma injuries

The usual cause of symptomatic seizures among infants is malfunction of the brain due to lack of oxygen. The condition can arise if there is insufficient oxygen while the fetus is developing in the womb or if the oxygen supply was disrupted during labor and delivery. The deprivation of oxygen can lead to permanent brain injury and increases the risk for seizures.

Febrile seizures

Febrile seizures are likely among infants as young as 6 months old. The episodes occur if the temperature of the child rises abruptly, usually due to a mild infection.

These are generally brief, only lasts less than 15 minutes with complete recovery in an hour. Take note that these seizures do not cause any lasting issues but only some limited cases of infants with febrile seizures end up with epilepsy.


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