What to do if your child has a seizure

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A child having a seizure can be scary for a parent. If it happens, you should seek medical attention. However, many seizures are not medical emergencies.

During a seizure, a child can experience sudden and temporary changes in physical movement. This can be caused by abnormal electrical impulses in the brain. Some children may experience violent convulsions or a stiffening of the body. Other may completely relax.

Many seizures can happen during a fever, febrile seizures. These most often affect children under the age of 6-years-old and most of the time do not indicate a serious illness. Children can grow out of febrile seizures.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Make sure child is in a safe place
  • Lay child on side to prevent choking
  • Watch for signs of difficulty breathing
  • Do not try to hold or restrain your child
  • Do not put anything in child’s mouth (including your finger)
  • Do not try to give fever reducing medicine
  • Do not try to put child in cool or lukewarm water to cool off

When do you call 911?

  • Seizure lasts more than 5 minutes
  • Seizure involved only certain parts of the body instead of the whole body
  • Your child is having trouble breathing or is changing color
  • Your child looks sluggish and is not responding normally
  • Your child doesn’t go back to normal behavior for an hour or more after the seizure
  • Your child looks dehydrated
  • Another seizure happens within 24 hours

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