Health conditions

Seizure guidelines

Following a seizure certain activities are restricted to ensure your safety and that of others. There is also a risk you could have another seizure.

In the event that someone is having a seizure, follow these guidelines:

  • create a clear space around the person to minimise contact with other people and objects
  • loosen tight clothing such as collars and ties
  • place a pillow or soft item under their head
  • time the seizure and observe what happens
  • do not put anything in the person’s mouth
  • do not restrain jerking limbs
  • place the person in the recovery position when the seizure has passed to ensure the airway is kept clear
  • stay with the person until help arrives or the person fully recovers.

At home

Do:

  • have a responsible adult at home with you for the next 24 hours
  • use the shower instead of bath
  • ensure a responsible person is in the bathroom with you if you take a bath
  • lower the temperature setting on your hot water system
  • stop smoking
  • take medications as prescribed
  • get enough sleep
  • avoid prolonged computer or TV use or playing video games
  • attend follow up appointments.

Do not:

  • drive a vehicle until you have been seizure free for six months or until cleared by your specialist
  • operate machinery, power tools or any equipment that may be harmful to you or others if you were to have another fit
  • be left in charge of a child alone for the first 24 hours
  • go swimming alone
  • binge drink
  • take recreational drugs
  • deprive yourself of sleep
  • participate in activities that could place your safety or that of others at risk if you were to have a seizure e.g. climbing or diving.

See your family GP or go to an emergency department if you develop any of the following

  • it is your second or a prolonged seizure
  • you are not recovering as expected
  • you have other associated injuries such as a cut head, facial injuries, burn etc.

Where to get help

  • See your doctor
  • Visit a GP after hours
  • Ring healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222
  • Ring the Epilepsy helpline on 1300 852 853

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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