First Aid

Seizures

old think: Force a spoon or your hand into your child?s mouth to prevent him from swallowing his tongue.

new think: Lie him down on the ground, support his head with a pillow or a folded jacket, and turn his head to the side.

why: A child is not in danger of swallowing his tongue during a seizure. In fact, forcing anything into a child's mouth could result in broken teeth or choking (if the object goes farther than you intended). You can't stop a seizure, so don't try to restrain your child; the upsetting event will have to run its course (in all likelihood within a few minutes). But do move any furniture or objects he could hit. Turn his head to the side; if you then place your fingers behind his jaw and slide it forward, you'll help keep his airway open. Follow up with your doctor afterward.

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