When a seizure occurs, not everyone knows what they’re seeing—or how
to help. According to Brandy Fureman, PhD and chief outcomes officer at the Epilepsy Foundation, it’s “incredibly common” for someone witnessing a seizure to react inappropriately or not at all. A new initiative from the Epilepsy Foundation, called #StaySafeSide, hopes to change that by providing information to help bystanders know what to do—and what not to do—in the event of a seizure.
“We know that 1 in every 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime, and we want to make sure that everyone knows how to help,” Fureman says.
While the campaign seeks to educate bystanders about steps to take in the event of a seizure, #StaySafeSide also benefits people living with epilepsy.
“You want to be able to live as normal a life as possible when you have seizures, and that includes leaving your house,” Fureman says. “This initiative allows people with epilepsy to have greater confidence that they can be safe and live a normal life if those around them know how to react should they have a seizure.”
Seizure First Aid
How to Help Someone Having a Seizure:
1. STAY with the person until they are awake and alert after the seizure.
- Time the seizure
- Remain calm
- Check for medical ID
2. Keep the person SAFE.
- Move or guide away from harm
3. Turn the person onto their SIDE if they are not awake and aware.
- Keep airway clear
- Loosen tight clothes around neck
- Put something small and soft under the head
Call 911 if ...
- Seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
- Person does not return to their usual state
- Person is injured, pregnant, or sick Repeated seizures
- First-time seizure
- Difficulty breathing
- Seizure occurs in water
What NOT to do:
Do NOT restrain.
Do NOT put any objects in their mouth.
Rescue medicines may be given if prescribed by a healthcare professional.