What to Do If Your Child Has Seizures

If you think your child is having a generalized seizure and this is the first time, call Medical Emergency Hotline. Make sure your child is in a safe place (such as on the floor) and watch her carefully. If your child has |had multiple seizures, you will quickly learn how to manage them and how to determine when to call a doctor.

Do not attempt to put anything into the mouth of a child who is having a seizure. Although it may look as if your child could bite her tongue while seizing, putting an object in the mouth to prevent this can lead to other complications.

Vomiting can occur during a seizure. When this happens, there is a risk of choking on the vomit. If your child vomits during a seizure, turn her head gently to one side to help reduce the chances of her swallowing or inhaling the vomit. Remember, do not put anything in her mouth during the seizure.

A child who is holding a sharp or blunt object (such as scissors or a pen) can hurt herself involuntarily during a seizure. The best way to avoid this is to remove anything your child is holding in her hands when she begins to seize.

A child can fall during a seizure or can roll off a high surface such as a couch or bed. If you think your child is having a seizure, try to move her to a safe place such as the floor.

If the seizure is caused by a fever, give your child a fever-reducing medicine as soon as the seizure has stopped. Remember, don’t put anything in a child’s mouth during a seizure. If you are not sure whether your child has a fever, check her temperature. Using a rectal thermometer is best, although an older toddler can often cooperate with an oral thermometer. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can be used. Aspirin should never be given to infants or children without a doctor’s involvement. Continue to monitor your child’s temperature closely so that a febrile seizure does not occur again after the fever-reducing medicine has worn off.

If your child exhibits intermittent jerking or other behaviors that you think may represent a seizure, try to capture an episode on video so that you can show your doctor.

When does my doctor need to be involved?
The first time a child has a generalized seizure, call medical emergency for an ambulance. Your doctor will be involved, but this usually happens once you are already in the emergency room. You should not call your child’s doctor in lieu of medical emergency hotline if your child appears to be having a seizure.

Whenever your child has a seizure, you will want to contact a doctor. The only exception to this is if your child has seizures routinely and you are comfortable managing them on your own.

What to Do If Your Child Has Seizures
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