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Seizures: Management and Prevention
Health Issue Category
Date of Issue
Revision Date
January 2011
Related Policies, Administrative Procedures and Forms:

Seizure Recognition

  • Staring spells and does not respond
  • Periods of confusion about where they are, what class is doing
  • Head dropping
  • Sudden loss of muscle tone
  • Episodes of rapid blinking of the eyes or rolling upwards
  • Unusual movements of the mouth or face accompanied by a blank expression
  • Not focused or dazed behaviour
  • Walking aimlessly, mumbling or repetitive movements that seem unusual for the time and environment.
  • Involuntary jerking of an arm or leg
  • Convulsions may occur in which the body stiffens, the child may cry out, fall unconscious and then undergo massive jerking movements. Bladder and bowel control may be lost and the child may vomit.


Parents should inform the school about their child’s seizure disorder, explaining about types of seizures, description, first aid required, current medication and any side effects including post-seizure symptoms or behaviours.

  • Students, if possible, can make the teacher aware of “auras” or other indicators that a seizure might occur.
  • The school should educate teachers and other school personnel, i.e. yard supervision people and bus drivers as well as classroom students on seizures, identification and first aid. Accommodations following a seizure should be made available.
  • If a child is on medication (the school needs to be aware of what medication and if taken at school) the Board’s Policy and Procedures need to be followed, including the completion of all forms related to Policy E-10, Administration of Medication. The above documentation will assist the school in developing the Emergency Medical Alert Form included at the end of this section.

Tips for Teachers

  • Treat child as you would treat any other student
  • Have The Epilepsy and Seizure Disorder Resource Centre of Eastern Ontario located in Kingston do presentations for students and/or teachers
  • For absence seizures, write instructions on board
  • Assign a class buddy to help if they missed instructions or place during reading. It is also important to give every student a buddy so that they don’t feel that this child is receiving special treatment.
  • Learn the aura’s (something that takes place before seizures) so you can be prepared
  • Make a chart of the first aid procedure visible in the classroom
  • If child is prone to Tonic Clonic seizures (see below) have their desk placed so that if they fall, there is room for the seizure to run its course
  • At the beginning of the year have a discussion with the class about respecting each others differences

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