Epilepsy is a broad term used for a brain disorder that causes seizures. There are many different types of epilepsy. There are also different kinds of seizures.33 A seizure is a short change in normal brain activity. Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. Some seizures can look like staring spells. Other seizures cause a person to fall, shake, and lose awareness of what’s going on around them.

Most seizures end in a few minutes. If a child has a seizure the teacher should:

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 Stay with the child until the seizure ends and he or she is fully awake. Once they are alert and able to communicate, tell them what happened in very simple terms.

 Comfort the person and speak calmly.

 Keep yourself and other people calm.

 Follow the directions in the Health Care Plan (which likely will include calling the family) A teacher should never do any of the following things:

 Do not hold the child down or try to stop their movements.

 Do not put anything in the child’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.

 Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (like CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.

 Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.