Taking Seizure Precautions

Staying Safe at Home
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

People with epilepsy may experience sporadic seizures from time to time that can be scary for themselves and their families. The best way to prevent seizures is to take your medication as prescribed. Many breakthrough seizures are related to poor adherence. Here are ways to minimize the consequences of breakthrough seizures.

Preventive Measures at Home, School, or Work

  • Replacing glass with plastic will prevent cuts during a seizure as many injuries are caused by glass doors, cups, showers, etc.
  • Any activity related to water should be considered a high risk, so people with epilepsy should avoid swimming or taking baths by themselves.
    • Showers are safer than baths and preferred.
    • Swimming alone should be avoided due to the risk of drowning in case of a seizure. Swimming is safer when there is another person that could intervene if a seizure occurs in the water.
  • Any activity related to cooking can be dangerous and result in burns. Precautions include, again, not doing it alone but with another person who could intervene. Pan handles should be facing the back of the stove.
  • Always keep at least one door unlocked in the house when you are alone.
  • Only use motorized power tools that have safety switches. Machines with safety switches will stop on their own if you have a seizure and let go of the switch.
  • Finally, be aware of your surroundings and make sure family and friends are aware of your seizures and know what to do to help if you have a seizure.

Generally speaking, these precautions are commonsense and are based on proactively asking yourself, "What would happen if I had a seizure while doing this?"

Authored by: Eric Vernier MD on 5/2015
Reviewed by: Selim R. Benbadis MD | NES/Controversies/Hot Topics Editor on 5/2015

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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