Seizures are almost never life-threatening. Many last only a few minutes and stop on their own. Still, it can be alarming to see a child having a seizure, and it helps to know what to do. Signs and Symptoms Seizures can take many forms, from staring spells to involuntary movements of the arms and legs. Some signs a child might be having a seizure are: unusual sensations or twitching before the seizure staring, not responding to anyone uncontrollable muscle spasms loss of consciousness (passes out) uncontrolled peeing or pooping What to Do if Your Child Has a Seizure: If someone is nearby, ask them to call your child's doctor. If no one is with you, follow the steps below and then call the doctor: Gently place your child on the floor or ground, and remove any nearby objects. Lay your child on his or her side to prevent choking on saliva (spit). If your child vomits, clear out the mouth gently with your finger. Loosen any clothing around the head or neck. Make sure your child is breathing OK. Don't try to prevent your child from shaking — this will not stop the seizure and may make your child more uncomfortable. Don't put anything in your child's mouth. Your child will not swallow his or her tongue, and forcing teeth apart could cause injuries or block the airway. Don't give your child anything to eat or drink, and don't give any medicine pills or liquid by mouth until your child is completely awake and alert. Try to keep track of how long the seizure lasts. Your child may be sleepy or may take a while to get back to normal after the seizure. Stay with your child until he or she is awake and aware, and let your child rest after the seizure. Get Emergency Medical Care or Call 911 if Your Child: has a seizure lasting more than 5 minutes or is having repeated seizures has trouble breathing has a bluish color on the lips, tongue, or face remains unconscious for more than a few minutes after a seizure falls or hits his or her head before or during a seizure seems to be sick has a seizure while in water has any symptom that concerns you Think Prevention! If your child has a known seizure condition, be sure that he or she gets plenty of rest and takes any prescribed seizure medicine on time. Back to Articles Related Articles Seizures Seizures are caused by a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. Find out what you need to know about seizures and what to do if your child has one. Read More Febrile Seizures Febrile seizures are full-body convulsions caused by high fevers that affect young kids. Although they can be frightening, they usually stop on their own and don't cause any other health problems. Read More Epilepsy Epilepsy causes electrical signals in the brain to misfire, which can lead to multiple seizures. Anyone can get epilepsy at any age, but most new diagnoses are in kids. Read More Word! Seizure You might hear a seizure called a convulsion, fit, or spell. Read More Epilepsy Seizures are a common symptom of epilepsy, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Learn all about epilepsy, including what to do if you see someone having a seizure. Read More Epilepsy It comes from a Greek word meaning "to hold or seize," and seizures are what happen to people with epilepsy. Learn more about epilepsy in this article written just for kids. Read More First Aid: Febrile Seizures Febrile seizures are convulsions that happen in some children with fevers. They usually stop on their own after a few minutes and don't cause any other health problems. Read More Benign Rolandic Epilepsy Kids with benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood (BREC) have seizures that involve twitching, numbness, or tingling of the face or tongue. Read More Childhood Absence Epilepsy (CAE) Kids with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) have seizures where they "blank out" for a few seconds. Most kids will outgrow CAE. Read More Intractable Epilepsy Intractable epilepsy is when a child's seizures can't be controlled by medicines. Doctors may recommend surgery or other treatments for intractable seizures. Read More Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy Kids with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) have one or more of several different kinds of seizures, which begin around the age of puberty. Read More Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Kids with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) have seizures that start in one of the temporal lobes of the brain. Seizures usually get better with medicine. Read More Infantile Spasms Infantile spasms (IS) is a seizure disorder in babies. The spasms usually go away by age 4, but many babies with IS will have other kinds of epilepsy later. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.