Few things make a parent feel more scared than watching their child have a seizure. It is often a very traumatic experience and causes a lot of stress. Seizures or fits are quite common during childhood. Almost 10% of all children have a single episode of seizure in their lifetime. Most of the seizure episodes last only a few minutes and stop on their own & are seldom life-threatening. Here a few steps you can take if your child has a seizure episode to prevent injury.
Identify the seizure episode – Seizures can have many forms especially in children, oftentimes parents fail to recognize seizures which leads to delay in getting medical attention.
These are a few signs that your child might be having a seizure:
- Staring or uprolling of the eyeball & not responding to anyone
- Frothing from the mouth with twitching movements at the angle of mouth
- Involuntary shaking of the arms and legs.
- loss of consciousness (passing out)
- involuntary peeing or pooping
Things to do if your child has a seizure:
Always keep an emergency number in your child’s pocket so that if you are not with them when they experience a seizure, any other person can contact you immediately. If someone is nearby, they will take the child to the hospital and can contact you. If you as a parent is with your child and the child experience seizures, follow these steps to keep your child safe and then call the doctor:
- Gently place your child on the floor or ground, and remove any nearby objects.
- Lay your child on his or her side to prevent choking on saliva (spit).
- If your child vomits, clear out the mouth gently with your finger.
- Loosen any clothing around the head or neck.
- Make sure your child is breathing OK.
- Don't try to prevent your child from shaking. This will not stop the seizure and may make your child more uncomfortable.
- Don't put anything in your child's mouth. A person suffering from episodes of seizure cannot swallow and forcing could cause injuries or block the airway.
- Don't give your child anything to eat or drink, and don't give any medicine pills or liquid by mouth until your child is completely awake and alert.
- Try to keep track of how long the seizure lasts.
- Your child may be sleepy or may take a while to get back to normal after the seizure. Stay with your child and let your child recover after the seizure until he or she is awake and alert.
Get Emergency help or visit an ER if your Child:
- has a seizure lasting more than 5 minutes or is having repeated seizures
- has trouble breathing, has a bluish color on the lips, tongue, or face
- remains unconscious for more than a few minutes after a seizure
Key takeaways for parents
Seizures have many causes and are fairly common in children, so don’t panic if your child has one.
Follow safety measures as suggested above to avoid injuries and keeping the child safe, and reach to a nearest medical facility if the seizure doesn’t stop in 5 min or happens recurrently.