Seizure first aid

Guide for schools

Guide for schools

This page covers seizure first aid, which should be outlined in each young person’s Individual Healthcare Plan.  It also includes a seizure first aid visual aid, which you can download as a PDF. 

Individual Healthcare Plans and seizure first aid 

Every young person with epilepsy in school should have an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP),which should include: 

  • Clear instructions on what to do if they have a seizure 
  • Emergency medication protocol, including instructions for when you should call  an ambulance.
  • Contact details of parents and or their epilepsy nurse.

All staff should be epilepsy aware and, where appropriate, trained in exactly what to do if a young person has a seizure.  You’ll need to consider the young person's dignity. For example, they may be incontinent during a seizure. You won’t need to treat most seizures or call an ambulance, because most are not a medical emergency and stop by themselves without the need for treatment.  You may just need to get the young person to a quiet area and let them rest before they re-join activities. Find out about accurately recording details of a seizure here for future reference. 

Basic principles of first aid 

Always refer to each young person’s IHP and emergency protocol to know what to do.  However, this visual aid shows clearly the basic principles of seizure first aid:

Seizure first aid - Poster image

Download the ‘Seizure first aid’ visual aid here

As stated, seizures are not normally a medical emergency and most stop by themselves.  However, sometimes a medical emergency known as status epilepticus can occur, which does require emergency medication. Find out about status epilepticus and emergency medication in schools here. 

Also in this section of the guide

Emergency medication

Young Epilepsy’s information for schools about status epilepticus and emergency medication, including training and storage

Also in this section of the guide

Epilepsy treatments

Information for schools about epilepsy anti-seizure medications and other epilepsy treatments.

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Other sections of the guide that may be of interest

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Epilepsy impact on emotions & behaviour

Epilepsy can have a profound effect on a young person's emotions and behaviour, which can produce a range of emotional responses that make academic achievement at school difficult.

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

UK legal frameworks

An overview of the different laws and systems in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

Key elements of support

The key elements of support that schools should have in place to ensure all young people with epilepsy are safe and included in school life