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Coping with Seizures in Children
Only about 1 in 10 people will ever have a seizure in their life. Children who have seizures may only have one and never have another. Other children may have seizures once in a while, or many times a day. And though seizures can be scary for parents and caregivers, they aren’t painful and are usually brief.
What to do if your child has a seizure
A convulsive seizure is also known as a major motor seizure or a grand mal seizure. If your child shows signs of having this type of seizure:
Make sure the child is breathing.
Roll the child onto their side.
Place the child on the ground in a safe area.
Remove any nearby objects that the child might hit.
Loosen any clothing around the child’s head and neck.
Remain with your child until the seizure is over.
Watch and be able to describe what happened before, during, and after the seizure. Try to look at a watch or clock to know how long the seizure lasts.
If your child has medicine to stop a seizure while it happens, make sure you know how to use it.
If your child has a vagal nerve stimulator to treat seizures, follow the instructions you were given to activate it.
What not to do during and after a seizure
Don't try to restrain the child’s movements.
Don't put anything in the child’s mouth.
Don't wake the child if they fall asleep after the seizure.
Don't give the child anything to eat or drink until they are awake and alert.
Keeping your child safe
Develop a list of safety measures with your doctor to prevent injury to your child when they have a seizure.
Carefully monitor activities such as swimming and bathing to keep your child safe in the case of a seizure.
Tell other caretakers of your child’s condition. Instruct them in how to respond to a seizure if it happens.
If your child is on medicine, make sure they take it as prescribed.
Keep track of the number of remaining pills and refills. Call your doctor for refills if theyp are running low.
Talk with your doctor about when and if it will be safe for your child to learn to drive and obtain a driver's license.
Call 911 if your child:
Has trouble breathing
Has bluish skin
Has a heart condition
Hurts themself during the seizure
Has a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes
Has a seizure that seems different than usual
Remains unconscious, unresponsive, or confused for more than 5 minutes after the seizure
Online Medical Reviewer:
Joseph Campellone MD
Online Medical Reviewer:
Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed:
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