Parenting Safety

If you have frequent seizures and you are responsible for others who depend on you, such as children or the elderly, you may want to consider ways to reduce any risks to them, as well as yourself, if you have a seizure.

 

As you go through your daily activities, think about what could happen if you were unable to react for a short time.

 

Sometimes, there will be no additional risk – at other times there may be. Then you will want to consider what extra safety precautions you might take for yourself and your family.

In many cases, you’ll find the safety steps involved are not so different from what all parents do.

  • First, like other parents, you will want to child-proof your house as much as possible.
  • If you are nursing a baby, or giving him a bottle, sit on the floor or bed, with your back supported. That way the baby should be protected from falling very far if you should lose consciousness.
  • Feeding the baby while she’s seated in a stroller or infant seat may work for you. Toddler seats and small feeding tables can be used as a child grows.
  • Dress, change and sponge bathe the baby on the floor, using a portable changing pad.
  • Move the baby around in a stroller or small crib that can be wheeled easily from one room to another.
  • Keeping a young baby in a playpen as much as possible when on your own; keep a toddler in a larger enclosure, or indoor play yard.
  • Another approach is to childproof a room and use toddler safety gates at doorways and stairs to keep him from wandering away.
  • Keep your epilepsy medicine out of the reach of all children.
  • When out shopping or walking, tie your hand to your child’s with a bungee-type cord or have the child wear a restraint harness so that he or she can’t wander away if you have a seizure that affects your awareness.
  • As your child grows, explain your seizures in words he can understand and won’t frighten him.
  • Teach your toddler how to call a neighbor, relative, or friend if you have a major seizure. Put the phone numbers in big bright colours near the phone. Teach your child how to call 000 and give your home address.
  • Better yet, pre-program your phone to automatically contact the local ambulance team (or other source of help) or page a family member or friend. Then teach everyone in your family how to use it

EFA “Tips for Living with Seizure Disorders”: Updated April 2002