Emergency advice

If a baby has a seizure:

  1. Don’t restrain them.
  2. Place soft padding around them.
  3. Cool them.
  4. Once stopped place in recovery position.
  5. Call 999.

What are seizures?

A seizure can also be known as a convulsion or fit. In babies, seizures are usually caused by a raised body temperature, often following an infection. This type of seizure, known as a febrile seizure, occurs because the brain is not mature enough to cope with the body’s high temperature.

Signs and symptoms

Look for:

  • loss of or lack of a response
  • vigorous shaking, with clenched fists and an arched back
  • signs of a fever, with hot, flushed skin and sweating
  • twitching of the face
  • squinting, fixed or rolled back eyes
  • breath holding with a red face and neck
  • drooling at the mouth
  • vomiting
  • loss of bladder or bowel control.

What to do

  1. Baby seizures first aid - clear any objects from around the baby and place pillows or soft padding around the baby

    Clear any objects away from around the baby that could be dangerous. Then place pillows or soft padding, such as rolled up towels around the baby. This will help to protect them from injuring themselves while having the seizure.

    • Do not restrain the baby or move them unless they are in immediate danger.
    • Do not put anything in their mouth.
  2. Baby seizures first aid - try to cool the baby down

    Try to cool the baby down. Take off any bedding and clothes such as a t-shirt to help cool them. You might need to wait for the seizure to stop to do this. Make sure there is fresh air circulating but be careful not to overcool the baby.

  3. Seizures in babies - place the baby in the recovery position

    When the seizure has stopped, place the baby in the recovery position to keep the airway open. You then need to call 999 or 112 for emergency help.

  4. Seizures in babies - try to keep the baby calm

    While you wait for help to arrive, try to keep the baby calm and monitor their level of response.

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Related first aid advice

How to put a baby in the recovery position

If a baby is not responding to you but breathing normally, it’s safe to put them in the recovery position to keep the airway open and to prevent them from choking. Learn how.

Seizures in children

In young children, seizures can happen as a result of a raised body temperature. Learn what to look for and what to do.

Seizures in adults

Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures (fits) in adults, although there are other causes. Find out what to look for and what to do.

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