St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, is bringing you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips – this week: recognising and dealing with seizures in babies. 

A seizure can also be known as a convulsion or fit. 

In babies, seizures are usually caused by a raised body temperature, often following an infection. This type of seizure, known as a febrile seizure occurs because the brain is not mature enough to cope with the body’s high temperature. 

What to look for: 
•    Loss of or lack of a response 
•    Vigorous shaking, with clenched fists and an arched back 
•    Signs of a fever, with hot, flushed skin and sweating 
•    Twitching of the face 
•    Squinting, fixed or rolled back eyes 
•    Breath holding with a red face and neck 
•    Drooling at the mouth 
•    Vomiting 
•    Loss of bladder or bowel control 

What to do  

1.    Clear any objects away from around the baby that could be dangerous. You then need to place pillows or soft padding, such as rolled up towels around the baby. This will help to protect them from injuring themselves while having the seizure. Do not restrain the baby or move them unless they are in immediate danger. Do not put anything in their mouth 

2.    Try to cool the baby down. Take off any bedding and clothes such as a t-shirt to help cool them. You might need to wait for the seizure to stop to do this. Make sure there is fresh air circulating but be careful not to overcool the baby 

3.    When the seizure has stopped, place the baby in the recovery position to keep the airway open. You then need to call 999 or 112 for emergency help. 

4.    While you wait for help to arrive, try to keep the baby calm and monitor their level of response  

For more information about St John Ambulance, including free first aid advice, go to

Article supplied by Kate Rutsch