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KIDS CAN HELP WITH SEIZURES

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by Dale Mazer, M.D., M.P.H.

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A seizure can be a pretty scary thing to watch, especially for a child who has never seen one before. But the Epilepsy Foundation, a Maryland-based national organization that promotes research on and understanding of children and adults with seizures, says kids as young as 10 can learn how to help. Seizure disorders are surprisingly common; one in 100 teenagers has them. But a survey by the Epilepsy Foundation found that only 32 percent of teenagers would know how to help. Most seizures, in which a person loses consciousness and shakes uncontrollably, are not emergencies, the foundation says. They offer the following tips for dealing with a person having a seizure: • Cushion the head and remove glasses. • Loosen tight clothing. • Try to turn the person on his side. • Time the seizure with a watch; call for medical help if it lasts more than five minutes. • Don’t put anything in the person’s mouth. • Don’t hold the person down. • Look for medical ID, such as a bracelet or necklace. • After the seizure ends, offer the person support and help.

 

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