What To Do When Someone Is Having A Seizure

When someone is having a seizure, it can be a frightening experience for those around them. What do you do when you witness this happening? Knowing the right steps to take while someone is having a seizure could potentially save their life. In this article, we will discuss what you should and shouldn't do when someone is having a seizure.

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and can cause changes in behavior, sensations, or body movements. Seizures vary from person to person and can last anywhere from seconds to minutes. While some seizures may look scary, there are still ways that bystanders can help during an episode of seizure activity.

The goal of first aid for seizures is to ensure safety and provide comfort until the episode passes. It's important to stay calm and know how to assess the situation so that proper care can be provided if needed. We'll go over how to recognize different types of seizures, what actions should be taken immediately afterwards, as well as long-term treatment options available for people with frequent seizures.


A seizure is a sudden burst of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It can cause changes in behavior, movements or feelings, and in levels of consciousness. Seizures vary greatly; some may be brief while others may last much longer.

When someone is having a seizure it's important to remain calm and stay with them if possible. Speak calmly and reassuringly, as this can help reduce fear and confusion for the person experiencing the episode. Try not to move them unless they are in an unsafe environment such as near water or on stairs. Don't try to restrain them or put anything in their mouth — including medicine — as this could cause injury.

If you feel comfortable doing so, gently roll them onto one side using both hands to keep them from falling off balance. Clear any nearby items that could pose a safety hazard. Keep track of how long the seizure lasts and take note of what happened before, during and after it occurs so that you can provide information to medical professionals later if needed.

First Aid Steps

The first thing to do when someone is having a seizure is to stay calm. Speak softly and reassuringly, as loud noises can worsen the situation. It's important not to restrain the person or try to stop their movements; instead, move any nearby objects away from them that could cause injury during the seizure.

Next, time how long the seizure lasts with a watch or clock. If it goes on for more than five minutes, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Try to keep track of what symptoms they are experiencing so you can tell medical personnel later on.

If this is the person’s first seizure or if there is no history of seizures, seek medical help even if it stops before five minutes have passed. Additionally, make sure they are in a safe position once the seizure has ended by placing them either in recovery position (on their side) or lying down flat on their back with their head slightly tilted backwards and supported by something soft like a pillow. Stay with them until they wake up fully and can communicate again.

Types Of Seizures

There are several types of seizures that a person can experience, and understanding what type they may be having can help you provide the right kind of assistance. Common seizure types include generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures, absence (petit mal) seizures, focal impaired awareness seizures, and myoclonic seizures.

Generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures involve stiffening of the body followed by violent jerking movements. These usually last between one to three minutes and often cause loss of consciousness. It's important to make sure that their head is protected from injury during this type of seizure as well as helping them stay safe in general by moving any objects out of their way if possible.

Absence (petit mal) seizures typically occur without warning and only last for a few seconds. During an absence seizure the person may appear dazed or daydreaming; sometimes it looks like they're blinking frequently or staring into space. They won't remember anything afterwards so it's best not to try to talk to them while they're having the seizure.

Focal impaired awareness seizures can affect either side of a person's body or just one area such as their face or arm. The person will remain conscious during these but have reduced awareness until the episode has passed. Usually there'll be some twitching involved with these kinds of seizures too but no convulsions like with grand mals or petits mals. If someone is having a focal impaired awareness seizure then it's important to gently guide them away from any potential hazards nearby and ensure that they don't injure themselves in any way whilst still allowing them enough room to move about freely if necessary.

When dealing with someone who is experiencing a seizure it's essential to remain calm and supportive throughout - staying close by but not trying to restrain them in any way unless absolutely necessary for safety reasons. Knowing how to recognize different types of seizures can also help you know how best approach each situation when seeking medical attention afterwards if required

When To Seek Medical Help

When someone is having a seizure, it's important to recognize when medical help should be sought. In most cases, if the seizure lasts more than five minutes or if multiple seizures occur in succession without time for recovery between them, immediate medical attention is necessary. Additionally, any signs of injury during a seizure—such as tongue-biting or falling and hitting an object—require prompt evaluation by a healthcare professional.

It's also important to call 911 if the person isn't breathing normally after the seizure has stopped or they don’t quickly regain consciousness. If this happens or if there are additional warning signs such as confusion and disorientation, fever, recent head trauma or soreness on one side of the body that could indicate stroke symptoms, seek emergency care immediately.

If none of these conditions exist and the person recovering from the seizure appears alert and oriented with no further health concerns, then observation at home may be appropriate depending on individual circumstances. However, consulting with a doctor can provide valuable insight into whether further medical attention is needed.

Preventing Future Seizures

Now that you know when to seek medical help for someone who’s having a seizure, it's important to learn how to prevent future seizures. There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of another episode.

The first step is to identify and avoid any known triggers. These may include stress, lack of sleep, flashing lights or strobe effects, alcohol consumption, caffeine use, certain medications, and exposure to intense heat or cold temperatures. If there is an identifiable trigger associated with your loved one’s epilepsy, be sure to remove it from their environment as much as possible in order to minimize the chances of experiencing another seizure.

Another way to lower the risk of recurrent seizures is by taking medication prescribed by a doctor regularly and on time. Some antiepileptic drugs can cause complications if not taken properly so be sure to follow recommended dosage instructions closely in order maintain effectiveness. Additionally, make sure your loved one stays hydrated throughout the day — dehydration has been linked with increased episodes of seizures among people living with epilepsy.

Finally, ensuring proper rest is also critical for preventing more seizures from occurring. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation can provide helpful methods for achieving quality sleep each night without relying on sleeping pills or other substances which could potentially increase risks for triggering further incidents.


It's important to remember that seizures can be very scary, both for the person having it and those around them. It's our responsibility as friends, family members and bystanders to remain calm during a seizure and provide help if needed.

The steps we've outlined here are essential first aid steps that should always be taken when someone is experiencing a seizure. By following these guidelines, you'll be ensuring their safety until medical attention arrives or until the seizure subsides on its own.

Finally, it's worth noting that some types of seizures may require long-term treatment or even lifestyle changes in order to reduce the risk of future seizures. If you or someone you know experiences frequent seizures, it's best to seek professional medical advice so they can get the care they need.