Safety For Children With Epilepsy

Safety For Children With Epilepsy

Your child's healthcare team will give you advice about increasing safety for your child with epilepsy. The advice will depend on the type and frequency of your child's seizures.

Key points to remember about safety for children with epilepsy

  • treat your child normally, just as you did before they had epilepsy 
  • your child's healthcare team will give you advice about increasing safety for your child with epilepsy
  • the advice will depend on the type and frequency of your child's seizures

Do I need to do anything differently now that my child has epilepsy?

Ask your doctor what's right for your child.

Treat your child normally, just as you did before they had epilepsy. 

There are some situations where having a seizure could be dangerous. Your child's healthcare team will give you advice about increasing safety for your child with epilepsy. The advice will depend on the type and frequency of your child's seizures.

Showers are safer than baths

If your child has a bath, someone should be in the room with them to help them if they have a seizure. For older children, that might mean leaving the bathroom door slightly open and someone talking to them from the other side of the door. If they have a shower, leave the door unlocked.

Take extra care near water

Swimming is an important skill to learn for all children. But if your child has epilepsy, take extra care near water. There should be someone who is watching your child closely while they are in the water at all times. The person should be close enough (and have the skills) to be able to get your child out of the water if they have a seizure. A child can drown if they have a seizure while swimming with no one there to help them.

Ask your doctor what's right for your child.

Your child should never swim alone.

Stay safe while biking

Your child should always wear a helmet while on a bike. Biking on the footpath is fine but they should not bike on the road until their epilepsy is well controlled by medicine.

Avoid climbing trees

Your child should avoid climbing trees. Playing in a playground is fine as even children without seizures fall off this equipment. People design playgrounds with safety in mind.

The content on this page has been developed and approved by the Paediatric Neurology Clinical Network, Paediatric Society New Zealand. 

This page last reviewed 23 July 2018.
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