Hesperian Health Guides
What to Do When a Child has a Seizure
In this chapter:
- Learn to recognize any ‘warning signs’ that a seizure is about to begin, such as sudden fear or a cry. Quickly protect the child by lying her down on a soft mat or other place where she cannot hurt herself.
- When a ‘big’ seizure starts, do not try to move the child unless she is in a dangerous place.
- Protect the child as best you can against injury, but do not try to forcefully control her movements. Remove any sharp or hard objects near her.
- Put nothing in the child’s mouth while she is having a seizure—no food, drink, medicine, nor any object to prevent biting the tongue.
- Between spasms, gently turn the child’s head to one side, so that spit drains out of her mouth and she does not breathe it into her lungs.
- After the seizure is over, the child may be very sleepy and confused. Let her sleep. For headache, which is common after a seizure, give acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin.
|To protect the head of a child who falls hard when she has a seizure, it may be wise for her to wear some kind of head protection most of the time.||
|A child who often injures his face with seizures may need a ‘hard hat’ helmet with a face mask.|
|You can make a ‘cage’ of stiff wire and wrap it with strips of inner tube, soft cloth, or sponge rubber.||Or cut a piece of old car tire something like this.||Or sew strips of cloth filled with padding|
This page was updated:21 Nov 2019