First aid for students experiencing seizures

This information has been adapted from information on the Epilepsy Action website:

  • Once a seizure has started there is nothing you can do to stop it. If possible, it helps to note the approximate time at which the seizure starts.
  • If there are sharp or dangerous objects near the student, move those objects if possible. You should only move the student if they are near water or some other dangerous situation.
  • Try to cushion the student’s head. You could do this with a rolled up jumper or coat or even with your hands.
  • It is likely that the jaw will be clenched during this type of seizure. Do not try to open their mouth or to put any objects in their mouth as this could damage their teeth or gums or block their airway.
  • When the seizure is over, turn the person on to their left side, into the recovery position. At this stage make sure their airway is clear and let the student recover. This procedure is taught on first aid courses, and so will be familiar to trained first aiders at work. Make sure you are aware of who the first aiders are in your building.
  • Stay with the student if possible, until you are satisfied the seizure is over and that they do not need any further assistance.

If a student has accessed support at AccessAbility, they may have specific instructions in their Individual Learning Plan (ILP), for example having a friend to support them or accompany them home. If this is the case, the School Office will have a copy of the ILP and can provide you with appropriate information.

Some students may be confused or need to rest for some time after a seizure.  If this happens in a lecture, please allow the student to leave or sit quietly and check whether they would like anybody to come and support them.

If the seizure lasts for longer than 5 minutes, or the student enters another seizure immediately after a first seizure without recovering, or you are concerned about the student's safety or condition, please call the emergency services. You do not have to be a first aider to make this judgement.