Seizures in babies

It can be very worrying for parents to see their baby having a seizure, but if it is dealt with properly it is rarely dangerous. Your baby may have a seizure as a result of a high temperature, caused by an infection. Febrile seizures are not common but babies may experience them because the electrical systems in their brain are not developed well enough to deal with the body’s high temperature.

If your baby has a seizure, seek medical advice. Take your baby to a doctor afterwards, so they can check what caused the seizure.

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What to look for – seizures in babies:

  • • Vigorous shaking with clenched fists and an arched back
  • • Signs of fever – hot, flushed skin, and sweating
  • • Twitching of their face and squinting, fixed or upturned eyes
  • • Holding their breath, with a red, puffy face and neck, and drooling at the mouth
  • • Possible vomiting
  • • Loss of control of their bowel or bladder
  • • Reduced response

What to do – seizures in babies:

baby after seizure Call for help

1. Put pillows around them: protect your baby from hurting themselves, but don’t restrain them or try to move them. Clear away any dangerous objects and put pillows or soft padding around them to prevent injury.

2. Cool them down: when the seizure has stopped, remove any excess clothing or bedding, or open a window. Take care not to cool them down too much.

3. Put them into the recovery position: hold your baby in your arms, cradling them towards you with their head tilted downwards.

4. Call 999/112 for an ambulance.

5. Reassure them and keep them calm.

6. While you wait for the ambulance check their breathing, pulse and whether they can respond to you.

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