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SEIZURE PRECAUTIONS




» What is Epilepsy?
» Treatment of Epilepsy
» Seizure Precautions
» Seizure First Aid


During a seizure, a person may injure himself or herself. Seizure precautions are guidelines that a person can follow in order to minimize injury during a seizure. For any activity, it is important to ask, "What would happen if I had a seizure while doing this?"

Bathroom Safety



A person with seizures may want to shower instead of bathe to avoid accidental drowning. If falls occur during the patient's typical seizure, a person should use a shower seat, preferably one with a safety strap.
  • Use nonskid strips in your shower or tub.
  • Never use electrical equipment near water. This prevents accidental electrocution.
  • Consider changing glass in shower doors to shatterproof glass.

Kitchen Safety



  • If possible, cook when someone else is nearby.
  • Use the back burners of the stove to prevent accidental burns.
  • Use shatterproof containers as much as possible. For instance, sauces can be transferred from glass bottles to plastic containers for use.
  • Limit time that is required using knives or other sharp objects. If possible, buy foods that are already cut, or ask someone to help in meal preparation.

General Safety at Home



  • Do not smoke or light fires in the fireplace unless someone else is present.
  • Do not use space heaters that can be accidentally overturned.
  • When alone, avoid using step stools or ladders, and do not clean rooftop gutters.
  • Purchase power tools and motorized lawn equipment which have a safety switch that will stop the machine if you release the handle (a 'dead man's' switch).

Driving and Transportation



  • Avoid driving unless your seizures are well controlled and/or you have permission to drive from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles
    (DMV). Each state has different laws. Please refer to the following link on the Epilepsy Foundation of America's website for more information: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/answerplace/Social/driving/drivingu.cfm
  • If you ride a bicycle, wear a helmet and any other necessary protective gear.
  • When taking public transportation like the bus or subway, stay clear of the platform edge.

Outdoor and Sports Safety



  • Swimming is okay, but does present certain risks. Never swim alone, and tell friends what to do if you have a seizure while swimming.
  • Wear appropriate protective equipment.
  • Ski with a friend. If a seizure occurs, your friend can seek help, if needed. He or she can also help to get you out of the cold. Consider using a safety hook or belt while riding the ski lift.

Safety Issues for Parents



  • Feed, nurse, dress, and change your infant while sitting on the floor, in a well-protected area.
  • Childproof your house as much as possible. If you are home alone with your child, consider using a safe play area or playpen. Use child safety gates to prevent a child from falling down stairs or to prevent your child from wandering in the event that you have a seizure.
  • As your child grows, explain what seizures are in terms that he or she can understand. Some people perform 'seizure drills.' Many people teach their children how to call 911 in an emergency.

© 2004 The Neurological Institute of New York • Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. 710 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032. Phone: 212-305-1742
Department of Neurology | Columbia University Medical Center | Last updated: December 12, 2012 | Comments
 

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