Keep these first aid tips in mind
When someone nearby is having a seizure, here’s how to offer first aid and when to call 911.
- Stay calm and be reassuring.
- Move the person to a safe place and clear the area of hard or sharp objects.
- Ease the person to the ground.
- Turn the person onto one side.
- Protect the head by supporting it with something soft; keep the face uncovered.
- Loosen any restrictive items (tie, collar, necklace, etc.).
- Do not put anything in the person’s mouth (spoon, tongue depressor, etc.); the person cannot swallow his or her tongue.
- Do not hold the person down or try to stop their movements; you may hurt them, or they may hurt you.
- Stay with the person until the seizure stops.
- If the person is very upset or violent, stay back.
- Do not try to give the person water or anything by mouth until he or she is alert and able to swallow without choking.
- Use a watch to time the seizure as soon as you see one begin.
- If needed, allow the person to rest while someone observes them for more seizures; stay nearby until they are alert.
Call 911 or immediately go to the emergency room:
- If a seizure lasts 5 minutes or longer
- When seizures occur back to back without returning to normal in between
- When injury occurs (head trauma, suspected broken bone, etc.)
- If the person does not start breathing normally once the seizure stops
- If the person is pregnant
- If the person has diabetes or a serious heart condition
- If you are concerned something else could be wrong
- If the person is more confused or upset than usual after a seizure (especially if he or she becomes violent)