Fits, faints and funny turns

There are many reasons for childhood “funny turns”. Your medical practitioner will have given you a likely diagnosis and this leaflet contains links for further information on some of the commonest causes of funny turns in childhood. This leaflet is designed to alert you should your child’s symptoms change and advice as to where to get help. It helps to have video of your child’s episodes to take to any medical appointments.

If your child has any of the following at any time:

  • If they become unconscious and do not recover after 5 minutes
  • If they have a seizure lasting more than 5 minutes
  • If they have >3 episodes in one day
  • Becomes confused or unaware of their surroundings (for longer than 30 mins)
  • Becomes confused or unaware of their surroundings (for longer than 30 mins)
  • Develops weakness in their arms/ legs or starts losing their balance
  • Develops problems with their eyesight
  • Collapses during exercise/ strenuous activity

You need urgent help.

Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999

If your child has any of the following at any time:

  • If they have more than one convulsive seizure in a week (Convulsive = unconscious with arms and legs stiff, sometimes shaking)
  • Loss of consciousness but has quick recovery (less than 5 minutes)
  • Change in their behaviour or excessive tiredness
  • Develops a persistent headache that doesn’t go away (despite painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen)
  • Develops a headache that wakes them from sleep

You need to contact a doctor or nurse today.

Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111

Your child may be diagnosed with one of the below conditions that requires no medical attention:

Here are links for further information:

Breath holding attacks: www.nhs.uk/conditions/breath-holdingspells-in-chil...

Simple faint: www.nhs.uk/conditions/fainting/

Reflex anoxic seizures: http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/stars/uk/

Night terrors: www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-terrors/

Sleep myoclonus (Brief jerks of one or more limbs. Occurs only in sleep. No treatment needed)

Self care

Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, call NHS 111 – dial 111

This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

Hide this section
Show accessibility tools