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Epilepsy is a serious neurological condition that can affect anyone, at any age and from any walk of life. It affects around one in every 100 people in the UK. Every day, 87 people are diagnosed.

Most children and young people with epilepsy can still take part in day-to-day activities, but if their seizures are not fully controlled, they might need some extra safety measures to protect them from harm.

Here are some tips from our school nurses on keeping children and young people that have epilepsy safe in various situations:

  • Swimming: As well as the lifeguard at the side of the pool, have an adult responsible for always watching the child or young person.
  • Heights: Don’t let them stand at a height more than twice their standing height without close supervision 
  • Bikes and scooters: Always wear a helmet. Avoid busy roads and if possible encourage them to stick to cycle paths and tracks. 
  • Alcohol: Talk to your child or young person about alcohol, as binge drinking increases the risk of seizures, and this risk stays increased up to 6-48 hours after a person has stopped drinking. Alcohol means it is also likely they will get less sleep or forget to take their medication which increases the risk of a seizure. 
  • Drugs: Explain to your child or young person that recreational drugs can trigger seizures 

For Further Advice 

To find out more about epilepsy, what it is, the different types of seizures, how common it is and how it can be diagnosed & treated, and also how to help someone having  a seizure visit Epilepsy Action.

About the author

Sandra D’Arcy & Caroline Smith