Epilepsy and first aid | At diagnosis | Help and support for parents and carers | For parents and carers

Epilepsy and first aid

If you see someone having a seizure, there is little you can or should do.

It is really hard to see, but if you witness someone having a seizure it is important to stay calm and protect them.

As soon as possible check to see if the person is wearing or carrying information that describes what to do in case of an emergency. They may be wearing a bracelet or carrying a card in their pocket or wallet. Be sure to:

  • Follow any instructions that you may find.
  • Reassure the person having the seizure.
  • Try to prevent physical injury from things such as sharp edges or traffic.
  • If possible, put something soft under their head to protect it from banging.
  • Do not restrain their movements, never put anything (especially not your fingers) in their mouth.
  • Do protect the airway; loosen tight clothes around the neck; wipe away excess saliva; stay with them until the seizure stops; let the seizure run its course.
  • When the jerking has stopped, roll them onto their side.
  • If possible take a note of the time that the seizure started and stopped.
  • Only call an ambulance if the person has hurt themselves or you are concerned about their breathing or the seizure lasts more than five minutes.
  • Try to get help keep others away, direct traffic as necessary or call for an ambulance if needed.

More information about epilepsy

You can find lots of information about the diagnosis, causes and treatments of epilepsy, as well as help for those who live with the condition.

Find out more about epilepsy

Helpline: 01342 831342 (Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm)

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