8 Tips for Epilepsy Caregivers

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Clear things away

If the person you are caring for has a seizure, it’s important to clear everything out of the way so they don’t hurt themselves. Seizures can involve falling, shaking and stiffness in the body.


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Don’t hold the person down

Do not try to hold down the person having the seizure or try to stop the jerking movements that can occur. Seizures typically only lasts a minute or two.


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Put something under their head

Use something flat and soft to put under the person’s head as they have a seizure. This can prevent them from hurting themselves.


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Make sure nothing is tight around the neck

Make sure there is nothing tight around the person's neck, such as a necktie or necklace. This allows the person to breathe without obstruction.


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Turn the person on one side

Gently turning the person on their side can open their airway and prevent them from choking.


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Don’t try to put something in their mouth

Don’t try to open their mouth or put anything in it during a seizure. Also, do not try to give him or her anything to drink. It is a myth that a person having a seizure can swallow his or her tongue.


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Check the time

Look at your watch once the person starts to have a seizure. If it lasts for more than five minutes, call 911.


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Comfort them as they wake up

Reassure and comfort the person as they start to wake up after the seizure. Some people, including children, can be confused and cranky for a while afterwards.