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Medikidz comic book brings awareness to epilepsy

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Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the activity of the brain. The disorder causes seizures that also can impact a person’s physical and mental function (Epilepsy Foundation).

In the United States, 2.2 million people are impacted; however, individuals lack effective education. Reports also suggest that 1 in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy.

Eisai, Inc., a leader in the epilepsy community has offered support to Medikidz to help facilitate community discussion about epilepsy. “Medikidz Explain Epilepsy,” is a fictional comic book that helps engage children and peers in discussion about the disorder. The book is based on the experiences of a 14-year-old boy named Jack, who is living with epilepsy. The comic book is the first of its kind in the U.S.

The book also provides children with information about living with the disease and the best way to discuss with peers. The book encourages the community and families to educate each other.

Dr. John Mytinger, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and a peer reviewer of the comic book, recommends that parents speak with the child’s physician to understand the triggers and symptoms. “Get all the information that you can [because] there’s a lot of fear that goes into first receiving the diagnosis,” he said.

The comic book will help families feel comfortable about talking about the disease and it will also help children teach their peers. “I’m excited to use the comic book in the clinic for educational purposes,” Mytinger said.

Epilepsy can occur at any age; however, according to Dr. Mytinger, “The onset is most common in childhood but can occur at any time in the lifespan.”

Teaching children how to manage symptoms is important. It’s also important for children to have a supportive system of peers and staff around to help. “[Epilepsy] has its ups and down. I have my good days where I’m a normal kid and my bad days where I have more than one seizure,” said Jack, the 14 year-old who inspired the comic book, “Medikidz Explain Epilepsy.” He continued, “My friends have been really supportive and understanding about my condition.”

Without proper education about the diagnosis, individuals struggle to understand the cause for epilepsy. According to Dr. Mytinger, there generally is no connection between high blood pressure and epilepsy; [however,] “there are individuals with very high blood pressure who can experience a stroke. For example, some patients who [have] a stroke will go on to develop epilepsy, [and] experience more than one unprovoked seizure.

Appropriate steps is important to follow if a person is having a seizure. It is a myth and ineffective to hold a person’s tongue down or stop body movements.

According to Dr. Mytinger, there are effective steps on how to assist someone experiencing epileptic seizures, and it’s discussed in his initial counsel with families.

Helpful tips if someone has a seizure

  1. Have them lay on their side – To maintain an open airway
  2. Never put anything in the mouth – Putting fingers or objects in a person’s mouth during a seizure could cause them to bite down on the finger or swallow objects placed in the mouth.
  3. Keep the surrounding area safe – To assure that the individual isn’t harmed
  4. Put something under the head - such as a pillow

It’s very important to put nothing in the mouth, including a finger. The tongue is attached to the bottom of the mouth and cannot be swallowed.

To learn more about obtaining a free copy of “Medikidz Explain Epilepsy,” comic book, visit the website.

*Examiner.com is not a medical doctor, nor does the site diagnose. For medical concerns, please visit a physician.

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