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  • A seizure is an electrical disturbance in your child's brain that causes involuntary twitching or jerking.

    What to do if your child has a seizure

    If your child has a seizure, stay calm and follow these steps:

    • Turn the lights on.
    • Note the time.
    • Put your child on a soft surface. If possible, put your child on his side or back.
    • Do not stick your finger between his teeth.
    • Make sure there is no furniture or other objects near your child. This will keep him from getting hurt while thrashing.

    The seizure should end within five minutes. If not:

    • Call 911.
    • If your child stops breathing, do rescue breathing.
    • If your child has no pulse, do CPR.

    What to do after a seizure

    After the seizure, cover your finger with a napkin or washcloth and sweep out any saliva or vomit from your child's mouth. He may appear to be in a deep sleep.

    Call your health care provider for an appointment or take your child to a hospital emergency room for an exam.

  • Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
    Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic
    First published: 02/01/2010
    Last reviewed: 01/01/2016

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