Safety at Home


The home is the most common place for seizure-related accidents. Activities such as bathing and cooking can you at risk of injury. Making simple changes in household activities or your environment may create a safer home. Your seizure type and frequency will dictate the type of changes that may help you stay safe. 

Bathrooms, which have mirrors, sinks, shower doors, bathtubs, and hard floors, can be risky for people with uncontrolled seizures. Bathroom activities are generally private matters and balancing the need for both privacy and safety is important for people with seizures. Review the information below to make your bathroom at home safer:

  • To give some privacy, place an occupied sign on the bathroom door instead of locking it. Make sure to install the bathroom door so that it swings outward into your hall or bedroom. This prevents the door from being blocked if you fall during a seizure. Any mirror in the bathroom should be shatterproof. When grooming, use an electric razor to avoid cuts. Hairdryers and other heat tools should be used away from sinks or other water sources.
  • In terms of safety, it's always better to take showers instead of baths. Check that your shower and bath drains work properly so that water doesn’t pool at the bottom. When showering, keep the water temperature low to avoid burns. Install non-skid strips in tub or shower to keep yourself from falling if you do have a seizure. Have a shower curtain instead of a shower door. If there's been an accident, it's easier for someone to get in and help you if there's a curtain instead of a door. Installing tub rails or grab bars can also help you feel more secure while in the shower.
  • For people who fall during a seizure or have frequent seizures, use a shower chair or sit on the bottom of the tub and use a handheld shower nozzle. Take showers when someone else is in the house.

Home safety is an important concern for people living with epilepsy. Creating a secure and accommodating environment within your own home is crucial to minimize the risk of injury or accidents. By implementing practical safety measures and adopting a proactive approach, you can feel more confident and secure in your living space. Below are a few things you should consider to help stay safe each day in your home:

  • When decorating, avoid glass tables and scatter rugs that are easy to fall on and get hurt. Wall-to-wall carpeting or soft flooring may reduce injuries in a fall. Secure televisions, computers, or other heavy items that could fall off of tables if bumped. Fireplace screens should also be placed wherever they are located and covering the fireplace at all times. Use protective or padded covers on faucet handles, nozzles, or the edges of countertops to help cushion falls and reduce injuries. Use covers or enclosed heating units or radiators.
  • It can be tough to be tidy all the time but avoid clutter in rooms whenever possible. Also, we recommend surveying your home to make sure there is room to fall safely.
  • When outside, we recommend that you have an enclosed yard for children to play and prevent wandering during a seizure.
  • Have a way to call for help if you are alone. Look into alarm systems, medic alerts, and other safety devices.

More safety tips for the home

  • Get a home safety evaluation from a visiting nurse or physical therapist.
  • Ask to meet with a nurse at the doctor’s office to learn about safety concerns and tips or get connected with help in the home.
  • Ask for help on adaptive aids for home safety. Local colleges and often have disability rehabilitation programs. Or contact a rehabilitation hospital or state disability organization. 
  • For more information on how to make your home a safe environment, contact our 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-332-1000 or (en español) 1-866-748-8008. You can also contact our Helpline staff through our online help form.

Authored By:

Joseph I. Sirven MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Steven C. Schachter, MD

on Sunday, September 08, 2013
on Wednesday, October 23, 2013


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