Do You Know What To Do If Your Child Has A Seizure? #EpilepsyAwareness #DareTo

The day after my son had his seizure following up with his pediatrician.

The day after my son had his seizure following up with his pediatrician.

    On August 20th of this year, my eight year old son had a seizure.  I’ve been an educator for almost fifteen years and dealt with many emergency situations involving children during my career.  However, nothing could have prepared me for how scary it was to witness my own son having a seizure and knowing that there was nothing that I could do to stop it.

    The night before, both of our sons had camped out in the living room and stayed up late.  As a result, we all slept in the following morning.  Sometime around noon, my husband and my older son left to run some errands and my younger son came over to where I was working on my laptop to tell me he had a headache.  Since he never complains of headaches, I asked him to describe where the pain was and he told me he just wanted to lay down and take a nap.

    His request did not surprise me because I knew he had stayed up late with his older brother the night before and he was probably tired.  Once he laid down next to me, I continued working until I heard some weird noises coming from him about 30 minutes later.  That was what I noticed first, the guttural sounds coming from his throat from his saliva.  As I reached for him to see what was going on, I realized that he was convulsing and I panicked.

    My parents live upstairs so I screamed for my father and he came down and called 911 while I turned my son on his side.  Then I did exactly what I wasn’t supposed to do, I put my hand in my son’s mouth to make sure he could breathe.  You are not supposed to put anything into the mouth of someone who is having a seizure but I was terrified so I freaked out.

    After what seemed like an eternity but was actually only a 2-3 minute seizure, my son started to come out of it and he groaned for me to remove my hand from inside his mouth.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that witnessing this happen to my son shaved ten years off my life.  We have since followed up with a pediatric neurologist who told me that my son has a common form of childhood epilepsy called Benign Rolandic Epilepsy or BRE.


    I will be discussing BRE more in a future post but, for now, I want to share with all of you what you should do in the event that your child has a seizure.  Believe me, I never thought it would happen to my children but it turns out that kids having seizures for a variety of reasons is more common than you would think.  My hope is that, by arming you with this information, you won’t panic like I did and you’ll know what to do while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Here is what you should do if you witness someone having a seizure:

  • Stay with the person who is having the seizure.

  • Pay attention to how long the seizure lasts by timing it.

  • Remove anything around the person that could harm them or that they could bump into.

  • Do not hold the person down.

  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth.

  • Roll the person on his or her side for the duration of the seizure.

  • Comfort the person in a soothing tone of voice once the seizure is over.

    The reality is that 65 million people around the world have epilepsy.  In the United States alone, over 2 million people have it and 1 in 26 will develop it at some point in their life.  It’s better to get the facts and be prepared so you don’t panic like I did.  By educating yourself about what to do if you witness your child or anyone else having a seizure, you will be empowered to react appropriately and possibly save a life.*

Let’s Discuss:  Has your child ever had a seizure and what have you learned about dealing with seizures that you did not know previously?

*We are not medical professionals and any statements we make are based on our own experiences and are not meant to be taken instead of medical advice from a licensed medical professional.

© 2014, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Katherine Bartlett says

    I’ve never had to go through this and I can’t even imagine how scared you must have been.

  2. I can’t imagine how scary that must have been for you! I’ve seen a friend have seizures and it was awful.

  3. I have never known anyone who had seizures. Honestly, I would have no idea what to do.

  4. the last time I saw someon have a seizure is about 20 years ago and did not know what to do. These are great reminder tips for those of us who are clueless.

  5. Way back when I had a friend who used to have seizures. I don’t remember ever seeing him when he was in the midst of one but I was pretty young. Thank you for this information-you never know when you might need it.

  6. Terry My Journey With Candida says

    Until I read this post… I had no idea what to do for a seizure. This is a post all parents need to read.

  7. We have a close friend that has a son that suffers from seizures and they haven’t been able to determine the reason. But we’ve all learned what to do and not to panic.

  8. I am so sorry what you and your son has been going through. I am thankful for your post..

  9. Oh no! I’m sorry that you both had to go through that. I would have been terrified…and I would have probably tried to make sure his airway was clear too. I’ve never had to deal with a seizure, not to say it will never happen. Thanks for sharing that list. Hopefully, I’ll never have to use that info.

  10. I know exalt how you feel. My daughter was diagnosed at 6. She has LGS, Chiari malformation. And generalized seizures. Which if anyone doesn’t know, that means she has every seizure there is except Grand Map. When she was 7 she got a bagel nerve stimulator. It has saved her life! Meds aren’t working. It was our last resort. I’m so grateful for this story. Epilepsy awareness is free and far between. Thank you so much! I hope you and your soon is doing well 🙂

  11. Oh my goodness, that would have scared me to death! Thank you for these tips! I’m glad there are ways for him to stay healthy!

  12. Caroline Barnes says

    My god, I would have had no idea what to do in that kind of situation. Thank you so much for sharing that information. Pinned it!

  13. mena & taty says

    knock on wood we have never gone through this. I had never ponder on what to do, so bookmarking this list. A big thank you for sharing. Hope your son is doing wonderfully

  14. Chrystal M. says

    I am sorry to hear this. I can’t imagine how frightening it must be. I know my furkid had seizures years ago due to brain cancer and it was such a horrible experience. My pets are my kids since I can’t conceive and kiddo is my step daughter. I can’t imagine how I would react if it were her. I pray for you and your family.

  15. This is so scary. My neighbor’s son had them when he had a fever. I’d panic.

  16. That sounds so, so scary! I have heard what to do when someone is having a seizure before, but I think I would panic.

  17. Lesley Stevens says

    I had something similar happen when my daughter was younger after her shots, I panicked, I actually didn’t know anything about seizures so I thought she was dying, it was awful. I also checked if she was breathing over the mouth because I just didn’t know. More people need to be aware of seizures because they are so scary.

  18. My children have never had seizures but my father had his first seizure at the age of 84. There is no underlying cause other than his age. It was very scary for my mother and our family so I understand how you feel. He has continued to have seizures and he is on a heavy dose of medication now at the age of 90.

  19. Wow I had no idea so many had been affected. None of my kids have ever had a seizure but I wouldn’t know what to do if so. Thanks for the info!

  20. This is such vital information to have, thank you for sharing it! Must have been very difficult to go through with your son. I am so glad that things turned out well in the end and you were able to find out live-saving information. Many hugs and prayers for you and your family!

  21. Lois Alter Mark says

    Wow, how scary that must have been for you. Thanks so much for sharing your story and raising awareness with this valuable information.

  22. That is so scary, I probably would have done the same thing. Thank you for letting us know the steps we should take if it ever happens, such important information.

  23. Ann Bacciaglia says

    This is such important information to get out there. It would be so scary to be in that situation and not know what to do.

  24. celelbbabylaundry says

    This is beyond important, epilepsy is very serious and should be something everyone is knowledgeable about!

  25. As a nurse, I would know what to do if my baby had a seizure. In fact, when I was a school nurse, I recognized a seizure in one of my students when others didn’t. I wish more people were aware how children can be affected by Epilepsy.

  26. ourfamilyworld says

    Epilepsy should be taken more seriously, it’s very scary!

  27. My half-brother was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was a child. My dad had it too, or so I’ve been told (he passed when my mom was expecting me). I’ve heard stories of how scary the seizures can be, so yeah, I can see how it shaved years off of your life, definitely!

  28. That is something that I had no idea about. Thank you for the tips and warning signs. I am glad you got answers!

  29. Oh my goodness how scary! I can’t imagine! Thanks for bringing awareness to an often overlooked condition!

  30. Amanda Smith says

    I admit, I have no clue what I would do! Thanks for bringing awareness!

  31. Danielle Stewart says

    Wow that is really scary. My son had a seizure when he was about 2 it was due to a fever however and he quickly came back out of it. I do home that you all don’t have to experience this again. I know you had to be really scared.

  32. Katrina @ says

    My daughter is 21 years old and had her first seizure at age 16. She was born perfectly healthy but then at the age of 4 she was severely brain injured in a car accident. We were told that seizures were possible, but since she hadn’t had any immediately following her accident, or even a few years into it. we thought we were in the clear for any seizures. Then one night it happened, many years after her accident. I would say it was the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed, but that wouldn’t be accurate since the car accident was way worse. But still. It was scary. She has been on medication for her seizures and we are lucky that they only happen a few times a year, and only at night when she sleeps. So far none have happened when she’s been awake. The most scary thing for me is when I’m waiting for the seizure to be over. How long does one wait? I mean, during the seizure, she’s not breathing. She tenses up, she shakes, she convulses, she makes these awful sounds in her throat…and all the while she is not taking in any air. So there I sit, next to her, waiting for the seizure to end…and in my mind I’m wondering how long should I let it go on before I call for help? Usually they only last about a minute or a minute and half (it could even be shorter, but you know how it just seems to last longer when you are witnessing it!) and she’s always fine afterwards (after the recovery period, that is) but I’m always worried that one time the seizure will last too long….and hurt her brain further. Or worse. Another thing I worry about is that she will have one in the middle of the night and will press her head down into her pillow during it, and then when she’s in the recovery period (where they are limp noodles, breathing and not shaking, but utterly helpless for a few minutes) her face will still be in the pillow and she won’t be able to get air. You hear about people dying from seizures but they never tell you just HOW they died from the seizure. Did they fall and hit their head? Did they drown in the bath? Did they smother themselves in a pillow? Anyway, I hate seizures. They suck.

  33. My kids have never had seizures but being a medic I have training in what to do in the event of one happening. I’ve actually never experienced anyone having one but I’m sure that must have been super scary for you. I’m happy to hear that he’s ok and doing much better now.

  34. Jessica Fasano Formicola says

    All great information! I would have no clue what to do, but now feel more confident. I’m still going to hope I never encounter this situation, though.

  35. Belinda LaCoste says

    Hi. I have learned as a nutritionist that you may want to investigate the skull crunching down on C-1, the first cervical vertebrae. Chiropractors specializing in this have been able to ultimately eliminate seizures. Takes a very special D.C. not all know what and how.

  36. Meagan Bailiff says

    my child hasn’t had a seizure. i learned that you should time the seizure, i didn’t know that.

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