Fits or convulsions can occur due to a variety of reasons. The most common cause of fits is epilepsy, which in quite a few cases, has a hereditary origin. Fits can also occur in small children. These are often due to fever.

Management of Fever Fits

  1. Stay by the side of the child.
  2. Tip his head right back.
  3. Put the child in recovery position.
  4. Don't try to control thrashing limbs. Surround him with cushions.
  5. Take off the clothes of the child and cool him with a cold, wet sponge.
  6. Check temperature; aim to reduce it by only 1-2 degrees.
  7. Send for the doctor.
  8. After recovery, keep the child lightly covered.


Epilepsy may be partial or complete. The casualty may become pale in case of partial seizures and suffer from facial tics. In case of complete or grand mal seizures, first aid is often required.

Signs and Symptoms of Grand Mal Epilepsy:

Fits are often preceded by a premonition or 'aura'. An 'aura' can be visual or a sense of fear or bad smell accompanied by headache, irritability, restlessness or a feeling of lethargy. Grand mal epilepsy usually consists of 4 stages.

  1. Casualty suddenly loses consciousness and falls on the ground, possibly with a cry. He may not be aware of his cry.
  2. He remains rigid for some seconds and during this stage, the face often becomes flushed or livid.
  3. The convulsions start and the patient starts jerking around, thrashing about his limbs. He may injure himself by striking a hard object. He may froth at the mouth or bite his tongue. He may also lose control over his bowel or bladder (incontinence) and may soil his clothes.
  4. When the convulsions cease after some time, the casualty may be dazed and confused or sometimes act in a strange manner, without realising what he is doing (post-epileptic automatism). This condition varies in duration.

Immediate First-Aid:

  • When patient collapses and is rigid, tip his head well back and loosen his clothes.
  • Don't try to control his thrashing limbs or attempt to restrain the patient. Surround the patient with cushions.
  • Don't attempt to push anything between the teeth - except a soft pad which will not slip back and block the throat.
  • Wipe away the froth from his mouth during the course of convulsion.
  • Call medial aid.
  • Keep a careful watch for a possible recurrence and do not leave the patient until you are satisfied that he is fully aware of his surroundigs or until he is placed in the care of another responsible person.