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.