The following are some areas that require extra precautions for people with epilepsy. Familiarizing yourself with the first aid procedures necessary for these situations can help prevent injury.
- Water is especially dangerous for children with epilepsy, so children should bathe in low levels of water. Even when as little water as possible is used, drowning is a possibility if the child falls unconscious without making a sound.
- The bathroom door should not locked when the child bathes.
- Children with frequent seizures should take showers while sitting on a stool. Taking showers is safer than taking baths, but be aware that injuries may still occur.
- Even older children struggling to gain independence should ensure that someone else is home when they bathe or shower. They should not be permitted to bathe when there is no one else in the house.
- Children should be taught about the risks that they face, should they experience a seizure in the bath or shower when no one is else is home.
- When a child has a tonic (drop) seizures, the loss of posture may be so rapid that the child crashes violently to the ground. Because this type of seizures is difficult to control, the individual may be exposed to physical injury. Hence, helmets are often a necessity.
- Children with epilepsy should also wear a helmet whenever they will be participating in sports where there is a risk of head injury.
- Children with epilepsy should swim under the watchful eye of lifeguards and/or responsible adults who are trained in lifesaving and ready to act in case of an emergency.
- Inform supervisors that the child has epilepsy so that they are ready to deal with a seizure, should one occur.
- While swimming, children with epilepsy should have a “buddy” who swims with them.
- Diving should be avoided because of the pressure it places in the head, but swimming is possible for many children with epilepsy.
Click here to learn more about first aid procedures for epilepsy.