First aid for epilepsy emergencies in children

Essential first aid for epilepsy emergencies in children

Epilepsy is a prevalent neurological condition in children, affecting millions worldwide. This disorder is characterised by recurrent, unprovoked seizures, which can pose serious risks during an episode. As caregivers, educators, and healthcare professionals, understanding how to manage these emergencies with appropriate first aid is crucial. In this blog, Rose explores essential first aid practices for handling epilepsy emergencies in children, backed by the latest regulations and best practice guidelines.

Key facts and statistics

  • Prevalence - Epilepsy affects approximately 1 in every 220 children under 14 in the UK.
  • Impact - Seizures can vary greatly in severity and symptoms, making caregivers need to recognise and respond promptly and effectively.
  • Safety concerns - Proper first aid during a seizure can significantly reduce the risk of injury and complications associated with epilepsy.

Key definitions

  • Epilepsy - A neurological condition marked by an inclination for recurrent seizures.
  • Seizure - A sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that results in changes in behaviour, movements, feelings, and levels of consciousness.

Relevant legislation and regulations

Under the UK Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, employers must provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities, and personnel to ensure employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. This includes training in first aid for specific conditions such as epilepsy, particularly in settings like schools where children are present.

Best practices

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Epilepsy Society provide seizure management guidelines. Key recommendations include:

  • Safety - Cushion the child’s head, loosen any tight clothing, and clear the surrounding area of harmful objects.
  • Seizure monitoring - Record the seizure duration and observe the type of movements to inform medical personnel.
  • Post-seizure care - Once the seizure ends, place the child on their side in the recovery position and stay with them until recovery is complete.

Detailed recommendations

  • Training - Regular first aid training sessions that include seizure management should be mandatory for caregivers and teachers.
  • Awareness - Schools and childcare centres should have specific epilepsy management plans that are regularly reviewed and practised.
  • Communication - Establish a clear line of communication between the child’s healthcare provider, parents, and caregivers to ensure information is up-to-date and comprehensive.


Managing epilepsy in children requires prompt and effective first aid to prevent injuries and ensure quick recovery from seizures. By adhering to established legal guidelines and best practices, caregivers and educators can provide the necessary support to manage these emergencies confidently and competently.

For those looking to deepen their understanding of first aid for epilepsy and other emergencies, The Mandatory Training Group offers comprehensive training courses tailored to the needs of caregivers and educators. Click here to explore our courses and equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to handle such critical situations adeptly.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Essential first aid for epilepsy emergencies in children - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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