Howard Kelfer, M.D.Don’t panic! If you see your child (or any child) convulsing, take a deep breath. It’s more important that you remain calm.

First, protect the child from harm. Position the child in their side. They should not lie on their stomachs. Children have limited protective reflexes during a seizure. They may suffocate if lying face down. Similarly, they should not lie on their back. Children often drool or vomit at the beginning of or during a seizure. They may aspirate. Therefore, rotate them to their side. Do not stick your finger or any other object in the child’s mouth. They cannot swallow their tongue. Protext them from hard or sharp objects.

Look at your watch. Most seizures stop within several minutes. This seems like forever while the seizure is occuring. After it stops, let the child sleep. If—by your watch—the ongoing convulsing approaches five minutes, then call 911. Once that amount of time has elapsed the seizure may not quit on its own.

If this was the child’s first and only seizure, a doctor or emergency-room visit is advisable to determine whether any specific disorder triggered it. Be assured, however, that it is only a very rare seizure that is caused by a brain tumor.


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