If you’re trying to help a person who is having a tonic-clonic seizure, the following procedures are recommended:

  • Don’t try to restrain the person.
  • Clear the area to avoid injury. Remove hard or dangerous objects; cushion the person’s head to avoid striking the floor or sidewalk. If the person is wearing glasses, remove them.
  • Loosen clothing in the neck and head area.
  • Turn the person on his side to allow saliva to drain from the mouth.
  • Do NOT place any hard object in the mouth or between the teeth. (It could cause choking or damage to the mouth or teeth.)
  • When the person regains consciousness and the seizure ends, help find a place for the person to rest and become reoriented.

Most people recover spontaneously. Thus, it’s usually unnecessary to call for emergency assistance unless the person is not known to have tonic-clonic seizures or if injury occurs. However, if the seizure lasts more than five minutes, or if one seizure follows another without a return of consciousness, immediate medical help should be sought.



Try to avoid restraining and calmly help protect the person having the seizure from accidental injury. When consciousness is regained, you may help the person get reoriented.