Seizures in Children

Have you ever been in a situation where your children suddenly have seizures but you panicked and your mind went blank, not knowing how to give first aid treatment? Here are some guidelines on what to do if you see your child beginning to have seizures.

Do not panic

You have to stay calm when your child begins to have a seizure. Do not panic and you have to reassure yourself that you must and can handle this difficult situation. Take note how long the seizure occurred. Then bring your child to a safe place, for example, away from the stairs. Panicking will do you and your child no good as it will only worsen the situation.

Help your child lie on the floor, placing him/her on his/her side

During an episode of seizure, your child cannot control his/her posture and movements. Help your child lie on the floor to minimize the risk of physical injury. Gently lower him/her to the floor and cushion the extremities and head until the seizure stops.

In addition, your child may vomit during a seizure. Lying him/her on his/her side (if there is no resistance) will prevent choking. Also make sure that you remove objects that are potentially harmful to your child such as sharp objects and glasses.

Do not put anything in your child’s mouth

It is commonly believed that a person may swallow his/her tongue during a seizure episode. This is not so true, of course. Although your child may bite his/her tongue, this rarely causes serious injury. So do not put anything in your child’s mouth. Many people have bitten off objects such as sticks and spoons during a seizure.

Do not administer medications by mouth or try to give liquid or food since your child cannot swallow when in a seizure. Putting an object in your child’s mouth poses a danger of choking.

Observe your child for breathing

When the seizure episode ends, place your child on one side and stay with him/her until he/she is fully awake. You must check your child for breathing. Start a mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing if your child does not breathe within a minute after the seizure stops. You must not do rescue breathing when your child is still in a convulsive seizure; you may injure your child or yourself. Call 911 for medical assistance if your child is not breathing.

Call the paramedics if the seizure lasts over 5 minutes

Often, seizures are self-limited and brief (most seizures last for 3-5 minutes), and patients are rarely in danger. But in some cases, episodes last longer. If the seizure lasts over 5 minutes or if there is concern for someone’s safety at any time, quickly call for help.