Responding to Seizures

Responding to Seizures

Watching your child having a seizure can be frightening, but knowing what to do can help you stay calm when a seizure occurs – and staying calm is key.

Most seizures last less than 2 minutes and stop on their own.
Some seizures only last a few seconds and may not require any first aid. The response to a seizure differs depending on if your child has a convulsive seizure or a non-convulsive seizure.

Responding to a Non-Convulsive Seizure
Responding to a Convulsive Seizure
When to Call 911
After a Seizure

Responding to a Non-Convulsive Seizure:

  • Stay calm
  • Move heavy, sharp, or other harmful objects away
  • Time the seizure, using a watch to be accurate
  • Avoid restraining your child
  • Resist trying to “awaken” your child or stop the seizure
  • Stay with your child and speak in a soft, reassuring voice
  • Never leave a seizing person alone

Responding to a Convulsive Seizure (generalized tonic-clonic or grand mal seizure):

  • Stay calm
  • Move heavy, sharp, or other harmful objects away
  • Time the seizure, using a watch for accuracy
  • Lay your child on the floor and turn him on his side to help keep the airway clear
  • Loosen any clothing around the head or neck. Remove your child’s eyeglasses
  • Do not put anything in the child’s mouth – not even medication
  • Do not try to prevent your child from shaking – this will not stop the seizure
  • Stay with your child and speak in a soft, reassuring voice
  • Never leave a seizing person alone

When to Call 911

Most children will recover from a seizure after a few minutes. However, depending on the type and severity of your child’s seizure, it may be necessary to call for emergency medical assistance.

Call 911 if:

  • This is the child’s first seizure
  • The seizure lasts longer than three to five minutes
  • Another seizure rapidly follows the first one
  • She does not seem to fully recover after the seizure
  • Your child still remains unconscious after the seizure has stopped
  • He has difficulty breathing after the seizure
  • The seizure occurs in water (pool, bathtub, etc.)
  • Your child is injured during the seizure
  • Your child seems ill
  • Your child has any symptoms that concern you

After a Seizure

After a seizure, let the child rest until he or she regains consciousness. When regaining consciousness, it is common to be confused, disoriented, or to seem scared.

After a seizure it is important to stay with the child; and reassure the child that he or she is safe.

Do not provide any food or drinks until your child is fully alert and back to his or her normal state again.

It is common to feel tired after a seizure, and your child will likely require some extra sleep.

Contact Information

Pediatric Neuroscience Center
600 Broadway
Swedish/First Hill, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-215-1440
Fax: 206-215-1441
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Map & Directions

Need a second opinion?


Call 206-320-2800 to make an appointment now.

find_physician_newest.gif

 


How you can help


Swedish is constantly working to ensure patients with debilitating neurological disorders have access to the best treatment options, the latest technology, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Learn more

 


SNI Blog

Loading...


View more blog posts »


What to expect during your hospital stay

 

SHVI_emmi-(1).jpg

Take a personalized interactive tour, click here.