Convulsions in Children

Call 911 if the child:

  • Appears to have a seizure with uncontrolled, rapid shaking

  • Has trouble breathing
  • Turns blue
  • Hits his head before or during a convulsion
  • Is unconscious for several minutes
  • Might have ingested something poisonous

Convulsions, also known as seizures, in babies and young children can be terrifying for parents, and to be safe you should seek emergency help. However, convulsions often don't cause serious health problems. In toddlers,though rare, fevers can sometimes trigger convulsions.

Call Doctor If:

Even if your child has had a convulsion before and your pediatrician has told you what to do, you should still call your pediatrician.

While You're Waiting for Medical Help

If your child is breathing normally, keep your child safe:

  • Place your child on the floor on his or her side and clear away objects that are in close proximity.
  • Loosen tight clothing surrounding the head or neck.
  • Don't put anything in your child's mouth or try to stop the convulsion unless your pediatrician has told you what to do.
  • If your child vomits, move him onto his side and clear out his mouth.
  • Don't try to hold your child down or restrain his movements.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on November 05, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Febrile Seizures."

HealthyChildren.org: "Seizures, Convulsions, and Epilepsy."

HealthyChildren.org:"Fever and Your Baby."

HealthyChildren.org: "First Aid Guide."

Epilepsy Care and Research Foundation: "Epilepsy & Children."

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Febrile Seizures: Fact Sheet."

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