Nervous System Home > First Aid for Seizures

People administering first aid for seizures should roll the person to his or her side to prevent choking, remove sharp objects that the person might hit during the seizure, and loosen any tight clothing around the neck. Do not put anything in the person's mouth -- not even medicine or liquid. Sometimes, an ambulance will need to be called, such as if the person having the seizure is pregnant or has diabetes, or if the seizure lasts for more than five minutes.

First Aid for Seizures: During the Seizure

If you see someone having a seizure with convulsions or loss of consciousness, here's how you can help:
 
  • Roll the person on his or her side to prevent choking on any fluids or vomit.
 
  • Cushion the person's head.
 
  • Loosen any tight clothing around the neck.
 
  • Keep the person's airway open. If necessary, grip the person's jaw gently and tilt his or her head back.
 
  • Do NOT restrict the person from moving, unless he or she is in danger.
 
  • Do NOT put anything into the person's mouth, not even medicine or liquid. These can cause choking or damage to the person's jaw, tongue, or teeth. Contrary to widespread belief, people cannot swallow their tongues during a seizure or any other time.
 
  • Remove any sharp or solid objects that the person might hit during the seizure.
 
  • Note how long the seizure lasts and what symptoms occurred so you can tell a doctor or emergency personnel if necessary.
 
  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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