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Seizures – first aid fact sheet

Seizures – first aid

Seizures in children can be caused by a range of conditions including fever, head injuries and epilepsy. During a seizure they may:

  • become disoriented
  • lose consciousness
  • have trouble breathing
  • have stiffness or jerking of their limbs.

The following steps will help you to look after a child during and immediately after a seizure.

During the seizure

  1. Note the time the seizure starts and what happens to the child during the seizure so you can tell the ambulance officers/doctors later.
  2. Protect the child from injury by removing any harmful objects (such as furniture, toys, etc.) from the immediate area.
  3. Help the child move away from danger if they cannot move easily by themselves or they are confused.
  4. Call for assistance (e.g. ambulance) and/or follow instructions in any emergency medication plan (for children who have been prescribed seizure medication by their doctor).
  5. If the child is unconscious or cannot respond to instructions, move them into the recovery position (pictured) when possible. This will ensure their airway remains clear and open.
  6. Do not restrain the child, put anything in their mouth or give them any food or drink.
  7. Do not leave them unattended.
  8. Calmly reassure and reorientate the child with their surroundings until they have fully recovered or help arrives.

First aid for seizures recovery position

Call 000 if:

  • it’s the child’s first seizure
  • they don’t follow their usual recovery process when the seizure ends
  • multiple seizures occur in one day
  • the seizure occurs in water
  • the child is injured before during the seizure
  • you are unsure and concerned about their wellbeing
  • they have diabetes or are a young person who is pregnant.

Contact us

Department of Neurosciences
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)

In an emergency, always call 000.

If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Resource No: FS212. Developed by Department of Neurosciences. Updated: January 2017. All information contained in this sheet has been supplied by qualified professionals as a guideline for care only. Seek medical advice, as appropriate, for concerns regarding your child’s health.

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