Children's epilepsy resource for Clinicians

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Evidence Based Guidelines


There are clear evidence based guidelines for the standard of care of children with epilepsy. The NICE Guideline; The Epilepsies was first released in October 2004, with a further publication in January 2012 and update in February 2016. This is a UK based guideline and therefore requires some interpretation for the New South Wales context.


Some of the key points are summarised below.

  • All children with a recent onset suspected seizure should be seen urgently (within 2 weeks) by a specialist. This is to ensure precise and early diagnosis and initiation of therapy as appropriate to their needs.
  • The seizure type(s) and epilepsy syndrome, aetiology and co-morbidity should be determined.
  • All children with epilepsy should have a comprehensive care plan that is agreed between the individuals, their family and/or carers as appropriate, and primary and secondary care providers.
  • The AED (anti-epileptic drug) treatment strategy should be individualised according to the seizure type, epilepsy syndrome, co-medication and co-morbidity, the individual’s lifestyle, and the preferences of the individual, their family and/or carers as appropriate.
  • All children with epilepsy should have a regular structured review. In children, this review should be carried out at least yearly (but may be between 3 and 12 months by arrangement) by a specialist.
  • At the review, individuals should have access to: written and visual information; counselling services; information about voluntary organisations; epilepsy specialist nurses; timely and appropriate investigations; referral to tertiary services, including surgery if appropriate.
  • If seizures are not controlled and/or there is diagnostic uncertainty or treatment failure, individuals should be referred to tertiary services soon (within 4 weeks) for further assessment.



National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2012. The epilepsies: the diagnosis and management of the epilepsies in adults and children in primary and secondary care. Nice Clincial Guideline 137.




This page was created in March 2012.  It was last reviewed without modification in December 2017.