If your Child is Having a Seizure:
- Stay Calm: It is important to stay calm as most seizures will run its course and end naturally within a few seconds to minutes.
2. Protect from Injury: Move the child away from any dangerous objects, turn them on their side place something soft under their head and loosen anything tight that is around their neck. If the person wanders about, stay by their side and gently steer them away from danger. When the seizure ends, provide reassurance and stay with the person if they are confused.
3. Do Not Restrain: You may hurt the child if your try to hold them or pin them down or you may hurt yourself. Restraining a child will not stop the seizure.
4. Do Not Put Anything in Their Mouth: Do not put anything in a child’s mouth when they are having a seizure. You may hear sounds like gagging, but a child cannot swallow their tongue during a seizure
5. Time It: Always time a seizure! If a seizure lasts less than 5 minutes, it is not a medical emergency. A child may need time to recover after the seizure is over. They may be sleepy, groggy or disoriented. Give them time to come around, this is normal. Depending on the child and their seizure type there is a varied timeframe that is needed to return to their normal. This could be anywhere from several minutes to days to completely recover.
If the seizure last over 5 minutes it is considered a medical emergency. Some children who have a history or have a risk of a seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes are prescribed a rescue medication such as Lorazepam or Midazolam. If their seizure last over 5 minutes they are to be given their rescue medication which should stop the seizure within 1-3 minutes.
6. Call 911: The first seizure is always a medical emergency. Call 911 if the person is pregnant, has diabetes, is injured from the seizure or the seizure occurs in water.
Some children may have their own personalized plan for seizure first aid, if so please follow those instructions.
Please follow the links below for more information:
How to Administer Emergency Medications to Students with Epilepsy, Dr. Andrade
C2C video of seizure first aid
Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario Video