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Seizures and epilepsy are one of the most common neurological problems affecting children and youth. There are 470,000 children living with epilepsy in the U.S. That means in a school of 1,000 students, at least 6 students would live with epilepsy. Since children spend so many of their waking hours in school settings, it’s critical that all school personnel at least know what epilepsy is, how to recognize seizures, and how to provide seizure first aid.

Epilepsy is more than just seizures.

Children and youth with epilepsy may have

How We Can Help

According to the CDC, on average 49% of lead health education teachers in secondary schools want professional development on epilepsy and seizures, yet only 18.2% received professional development. The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to helping students with seizures and epilepsy get the help they need to succeed in school and have a safe and supportive school environment. Here you will find information and resources about advocacy, training, and education efforts that may help to make your school a safer place for students and personnel with epilepsy.

School Personnel Training

Training for School Personnel is designed for people who work with children and youth in school settings. This program provides an overview of seizures and epilepsy, seizure first aid, seizure action plans, rescue therapies, seizure emergencies and how to support students in school settings. This course is appropriate for school nurses, teachers, aides, coaches, administrators and anyone who works in a school setting.

Two Options: On-Demand or Live Trainings

See the Seizure Training for School Personnel course page for more information.

  1. On-Demand Training Available (most popular)
    • Available 24/7. Take at your convenience.
    • Length - 60 minutes
    • Certificate available upon completion of the program 
    • Continuing education credits available for certified health educators (CHES/MCHES)
  2. In-person and/or Live Webinars are available from your local Epilepsy Foundation.

Find Your Local Epilepsy Foundation

School Nurses

The Seizure Training for School Nurses is designed for people who work with children and youth in school settings. This program provides an overview of seizures and epilepsy, seizure first aid, seizure action plans, rescue therapies, seizure emergencies and how to support students in school settings.  

Two Options: On-Demand or Live Trainings

See the Seizure Training for School Nurses: Caring for Students course page for more information.

  1. On-Demand (online) course (most popular)
    • Available 24/7. Take at your convenience!
    • Length - 2.75 hours
    • Certificate available upon completion of the program
    • Continuing nursing education credits available
  2. In-person and/or Live Webinars are available from your local Epilepsy Foundation.

Find Your Local Epilepsy Foundation

Take Charge Program

The Take Charge program is an epilepsy awareness school curriculum for kindergarten through high school students. The Program, designed to be completed during one class period, is available through your local Epilepsy Foundation. This program seeks to educate students about epilepsy and encourage the integration of epilepsy education in school health and science classes. Teaching students seizure 101 and how to be a friend to another student living with epilepsy empowers them and minimizes bullying of students living with epilepsy. Through this program, the Epilepsy Foundation hopes to dispel myths and reduce misperceptions associated with epilepsy among students in schools.

Take Charge includes:

  • Take Charge of the Facts: a 45-minute program delivered in person in a high school setting. It is designed to give teens a basic understanding of epilepsy as a medical condition.
  • Take Charge of the Storm: delivers a school-based epilepsy awareness program for middle school students ages 11-24.
  • Take Charge of the Storm Jr.: a school-based epilepsy awareness program for children in kindergarten through 5th grade.

Since the program was established in 2008, Take Charge has reached more than 294,687 students. Contact your local Epilepsy Foundation for more details on Take Charge.

Seizure Safe Schools

Many states are passing legislation to ensure that school personnel have appropriate training and policies to support students living with epilepsy and seizures.

The Epilepsy Foundation has a model bill that covers these issues:

  • The legislation makes certain that school personnel, including nurses, teachers, and volunteers, are not only prepared but can recognize and respond appropriately and efficiently to a student during a seizure.
  • The legislation mandates that a student's Seizure Action Plan is made part of the student's file and made available to school personnel and volunteers responsible for the student. 
  • Even more importantly, the legislation safeguards physician-directed care in the school setting, allowing students access to necessary and life-saving medication.
  • Lastly, by bringing awareness to the entire educational community, students with epilepsy and seizures can feel safe in school, reach their full academic potential, and build meaningful friendships without fear of being stigmatized.

Learn about seizure safe schools and how to help in your community.

Resources

The Epilepsy Foundation has a wealth of resources for schools, including seizure action plans, seizure observation tools, parent questionnaires, and more.

More

Visit our Toolbox to browse other resources.

Authored By: 
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Authored Date: 
09/2019
Reviewed By: 
LaQueisa Haynes-Smith MS, MCHES
Cheryl Houston
on: 
Thursday, September 2, 2021