6 things that can trigger a seizure even if you don’t have epilepsy

What to do if someone has a seizure
Oftentimes, less is more. Rule number one: Keep the person safe. That means making sure she doesn’t accidentally hurt herself, either on a nearby sharp object or by falling down the stairs.

As Dr. Anto Bagić, PhD, the chief of the epilepsy division at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center puts it: “There’s no ‘heroic’ measure necessary.” Don’t try to restrain the person (she might panic and lash out even more aggressively) and do not put anything in her mouth (she might choke on it). Besides, it’s a myth that people can swallow their tongue during a seizure.

Either give her some space or, if necessary, guide her to a safer area, Bagić explains. If she’s lying on the floor, gently turn her on her side so that her saliva doesn’t block her airway.

Most seizures resolve themselves within five minutes, so if it goes on for longer than that, you should call 911, Bagić said. More often, however, the person will regain consciousness after a few minutes—and when she does, stay calm.

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