Convulsions/​seizures may be the most fright­en­ing emer­gency, but most are not as seri­ous as they may appear. It is most impor­tant to stay calm. The con­vuls­ing child will be uncon­scious, appear some­what blue and his or her breath­ing will be shal­low. Place the child on the floor away from stair­ways and oth­er dan­gers. Turn the child’s head to one side to pre­vent aspi­ra­tion if the child starts to vom­it. If he or she does vom­it, keep the head to one side and clear out any vom­it that may be present. Do not put any­thing in the mouth.

For all seizures, call 911 and then call your pediatrician’s office. Seizures usu­al­ly last no more than five min­utes. Fever is a com­mon pre­cip­i­tat­ing fac­tor for seizures in young chil­dren, and these febrile seizures (aka fever con­vul­sions) are med­ical­ly inno­cent – they do not lead to epilep­sy or men­tal retardation.