Know everything about what to do when your child has epilepsy and reduce the risks of any kind of accidental occurrence.
Children with epilepsy will need special care. When your child with epilepsy participates in the typical childhood activities, you need to make sure they can do so safely. You need to take precautions to let your child move safely both inside and outside the house.
We have put together a few steps you can take to keep your epileptic child safe. Read on to find out what you can do both in and outside the home to keep your child safe.
Safety Inside the House
To keep your child safe inside your home, you need to follow the safety tips discussed below:
Having an alarm system to monitor your child’s movements can be helpful. Most of these alarms have activation buttons and train your child to press them when he has a seizure. Some alarms in the market do not need to be pressed as they can be triggered if your child shakes or jerks, or falls without any warning. A medical alert bracelet or necklace can be a good option to use here as well. These are always helpful to minimize the risk as much as possible. Check out safesleepsystems.com to find an alarm that suits you and your child’s safety needs.
- Floors and Furnishings
You need to avoid hard flooring like ceramic tiles that might injure your child if they fall. You can reduce the risk by opting for linoleum (lino), anti-slip flooring, or cushion flooring, or soft fabric carpets. These surfaces will cushion the blow of a fall should your child have convulsive seizures and falls. Have furniture with rounded edges and use protective covers for any pieces of furniture that have sharp edges.
You should avoid glass furnishings as much as possible to keep your child with epilepsy safe. New homes might have safety glasses for the window, but if your home is older, you need to replace the window panels. It will help you to reduce the risk of any kind of injury to your child as the safety glasses are unbreakable.
- Fire safety
Have fabrics and furniture that are fire-resistant. Let your child use a microwave instead of a stove if he is old enough to reheat his food. If your child wants to use a stovetop, let him use the back burner. Using electric burners can be safer than flames. You need to install a smoke alarm and make sure to check the batteries regularly.
- Heat Sources
To reduce the risk of injury during seizures, you need to consider placing guards on open wood stoves, fireplaces, and radiators. Don’t let your child play with matches at any time – regardless of levels of supervision. To avoid safety hazards, avoid open flames as much as possible around the child. Be mindful of heating appliances like curling irons, hairdryers, and clothing irons, and use them with care and store them away after cooling off.
- Power Tools & Outdoor Equipment
Remember to check if all equipment for drilling, chopping, cutting has safety guards. An automatic shut-off switch is necessary for the electric or gas-powered equipment to avoid any accidents. If your child uses any tools for their school projects, make sure they wear appropriate footwear, gloves, and protective eyewear to have proper protection. Your child should be completing any physical work with tools under adult supervision.
One-level homes are ideal for children with epilepsy as it minimizes the chance of falling down the stairs should they have an untimely seizure. If you live in a multi-level home, ensure you are near your child when they need to take the stairs. For the young ones, take them down or up a flight of stairs with you or teach your child to use both hands and feet when going up the stairs and to use his bottom when coming down. It can lower the risks of injury if a seizure happens.
If your home has stairs, be sure to put protective layers like fitted fabric carpeting or rubber slip grip tape on the steps.
- Storing medication
Your child with epilepsy will need some medications for their condition. Be sure to store away these medications while keeping them in their reach but away from other kids. Using a drug wallet can help you to carry your child’s medicines with you. It is helpful to ensure that you are providing the medicines timely. You need to keep all the personal and medical details of your child stored in one place so you can get them when needed.
- Water Safety
Be extra cautious when your child is around water sources. Encourage your child to take a bath in the shower. Keep the water level low if your child wants to take a bath. Stay around when your child is taking a bath. Ask them to keep the door unlocked. Use safety glasses everywhere in the bathroom. If your child swims, make sure that they wear a life jacket when swimming and when they are near water bodies.
School or Daycare Safety Information
Inform your child’s school and daycare about the seizures. They might ask you to fill out some forms so they can remain prepared if any seizure happens. Update those forms every year to keep them well informed about your child’s medical condition.
Sports Safety for Children with Seizures
Recreational activities are better for children with epilepsy. It can help to improve their physical and mental health. It doesn’t cause triggering seizures so often. But certain sports activities need to be avoided to reduce the risks. If the frequency and severity of your child’s seizures are greater, make sure to modify or limit athletic activities as much as possible.
It is important for children to be physically active, so tailor their physical activities around their abilities and with epilepsy limitations in mind.
Bicycle & Driving Safety
You will need to teach your child about bicycle safety as you teach them how to ride a bike. Make sure your child is wearing a helmet every time they get on a bike. Using the helmet, they can avoid any brain injuries and facial bruising if a seizure occurs while riding their bike. Driving isn’t allowed when seizures are uncontrolled. In this case, the laws of the state can differ for individuals with epilepsy. Stay up-to-date with the laws that affect your child’s safety every year.
Schedule regular “seizure” drills. It is necessary to practice for everyone in the family, especially those who remain at home. Remember to include the babysitter and caregivers in the drills. Practice how to place the child in a safe position when a seizure occurs, and let them know when they should be calling for additional help. You also need to ensure that everyone knows how and when to provide the prescribed rescue medicines.
Your child with epilepsy is going to need extra care and attention at all times. Seizures will be part of their life, and they and you will need to adapt to a life where you have taken all the necessary precautions to reduce injuries in case of seizures.
Be sure to organize your resources so that your child is under constant supervision – especially when they are young. Make sure to have proper precautions and safety guards to reduce any risks of injury to your child. Since lack of sleep can trigger more frequent seizures, you should plan your child’s schedule so that they can get enough sleep and rest.
Ultimately, you will need to come up with a seizure action plan and use that as a safety tool. Make sure to share it with others in your household and let them know what to do when your child has seizures.
Your child’s physician and pediatrician will be valuable resources for you to continually learn about the medical condition and what you can do to keep your child safe.