Providing first aid for seizures involves responding in ways that can keep the person safe until the seizure stops by itself.
Here are a few things you can do to help someone who is having a generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure:
Keep calm and reassure other people who may be nearby.
Prevent injury by clearing the area around the person of anything hard or sharp.
Ease the person to the floor and put something soft and flat, like a folded jacket, under his head.
Remove eyeglasses and loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make breathing difficult.
Time the seizure with your watch. If the seizure continues for longer than five minutes without signs of slowing down, or if a person has trouble breathing afterwards, appears to be injured, in pain, or recovery is unusual in some way, call 911.
Do not hold the person down or try to stop his movements.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not true that a person having a seizure can swallow his tongue. Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. Efforts to hold the tongue down can injure the teeth or jaw.
Turn the person gently onto one side. This will help keep the airway clear.
Don’t attempt artificial respiration except in the unlikely event that a person does not start breathing again after the seizure has stopped.
Stay with the person until the seizure ends naturally and he is fully awake.
Do not offer the person water or food until fully alert
Be friendly and reassuring as consciousness returns.
Offer to call a taxi, friend or relative to help the person get home if he seems confused or unable to get home without help.