Hope for HIE – Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Hope for HIE – Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy


Seizure First Aid Training Can Make a Difference

November 8th, 2021  | News  | Resources


Knowing seizure first aid is something EVERYONE should know. Just like becoming CPR-trained, it’s a skill you hope you don’t have to use, but glad you’ll have it if you do. The Epilepsy Foundation offers two tracks for getting seizure first aid trained – one is a 30 minute OnDemand course, offered online and fully accessible 24/7, and one is a certification program that is instructor-led.

We recommend all HIE parents, extended family and friends, caregivers, educators and other community members become seizure first aid trained. It’s something that everyone can feel empowered to do!

OnDemand Training
Instructor-Led Certification Training

What to do if my child is having a seizure

If you find your child having a seizure, it’s important to try to stay calm, and follow seizure first aid. We have a few nuances we’d like to share should this happen to your child, and for the first time. Seizures that appear in childhood with HIE tend to happen surrounding big developmental leap times like ages 4, 6, 8 and in puberty. Age 8-9 is a common time for hormones to start changing and can be a peak time for new seizures to begin.

Stay with your child and secure the area
  • Remove anything that could potentially harm them, remove glasses, hats, anything covering their face or airway.
  • Roll them on their side and place a small pillow or rolled piece of fabric under their head.
  • Know that excessive drool, clicking and gagging noises are expected for certain types of seizures.
Time the Seizure and Call 911

If this is the first seizure you have witnessed and they are actively seizing, call for emergency help, and begin timing the seizure.

If possible, try to record a clip of the seizure

If this is the first seizure you have witnessed, or a new or different type, it is extraordinarily helpful to have even a short 10 second clip of the seizure to pass along to your neurologist after your child has stopped seizing. They can more easily identify the type, and it can help in the next steps for developing a treatment plan.


  • Know that most seizures are self-limiting and stop on their own.
  • Check for vitals and breathing – if you have a pulse oximeter, you may want to put it on to track oxygenation levels.
  • Time the seizure.
  • Know that excessive drooling is normal during a seizure.
  • Try to get a recording on your phone of some of the seizure.
  • Contact your neurologist after things have calmed down for next steps.


  • Put anything in the person’s mouth, offer water, etc. during the seizure.
  • Feel bad for calling 911, ever, when it’s an emergency with your child or other family member.
  • Hold them down, or restrain them during the seizure.
After the Seizure has Stopped – Postictal Recovery

Post-seizure is called the postical state. It can last from several minutes to several hours until someone has fully recovered and rested from their seizure.

Common postictal symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea that can lead to vomiting
  • Needing to be cleaned up (it’s common for people to urinate during a seizure)
  • Weakness in parts of the body, facial drooping
  • Memory loss or confusion



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