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. 

Signs and symptoms

Look for:

  • abnormal response or no response
  • jerking, 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
  • 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.
    • Note the time the seizure started if you can; this will help the ambulance crew and hospital staff decide how to treat your child.
    • Call 999 or 112 for an ambulance.
    • Once you have called for help, and made your child safe, it is helpful to capture a videa of the seizure on your mobile phone if you can.  This can aid diagnosis later.
  2. Baby seizures first aid - try to cool the baby down

    Try to cool the baby down. Take off any bedding and strip them to a single layer of clothing to help cool them. You might need to wait for the seizure to stop to do this. Make sure they don't get cold.

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

    When the seizure has stopped, carry out a primary survey and place the baby in the recovery position to keep the airway open if they are breathing but unresponsive.

  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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