Children's epilepsy resource for Families

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First Aid during a Seizure

Witnessing a seizure, especially in a child, can be very distressing. If at any time you have concerns or are unsure of what to do, call an ambulance on 000.

 

 

It is important to follow some general first aid principles.

 

Generalised Tonic Clonic Seizures (involving loss of conciousness and stiffening / jerking of the body)

  • Stay with the child and try to be aware of the duration of the seizure.
  • Move hard objects away from the child and protect the head from injury.
  • If there is vomiting or excessive saliva in the mouth, roll onto the side. Otherwise, place in the recovery position once the jerking has stopped.
  • DO NOT place anything in the child's mouth.
  • DO NOT restrain or attempt to move (unless in danger).

 

 

Focal Seizures (with apparent loss of awareness and responsiveness)

  • Stay with the child and try to be aware of the duration of the seizure.
  • Gently guide away from any harm.
  • DO NOT restrain unless in danger.

 

 

Epilepsy Action has a First Aid wall poster that can be printed and used as a reference:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The information on this page was publsihed in March 2012 and last modified on the 13th October 2014.

It has been written by members of the PENNSW Website Editorial Committee.