Epilepsy at School
Use these tips to make sure your child with epilepsy gets the care and support they need during the school day.
Parents often feel a mix of excitement and worry as a new school year begins. “Back to school” time has been even more challenging the last few years.
Parents of students with epilepsy and seizures often have extra concerns about school staff or others caring for their child if they have a seizure during the school day. As your child with epilepsy returns to school, use these tips to ensure they get the care and support they need in school.
1. Make a Seizure Action Plan.
A Seizure Action Plan contains the essential information school staff may need to help a student who has seizures. It includes first aid steps, parent and health care provider contact information, and medicines that may be needed during the school day. See an example of a Seizure Action Plan from the Epilepsy Foundation.
2. Help school staff get trained.
CDC partners with the Epilepsy Foundation to deliver free training programs to school staff. Talk to your child’s school to see if school personnel can participate in these programs.
- Managing Students with Seizures for School Nurses teaches school nurses how to care for students with seizures and train other school staff. It’s available online, on demand with continuing education credits available.
- Seizure Training for School Personnel teaches school staff (teachers, office staff, bus drivers, and others) to recognize seizures, provide first aid, and understand how epilepsy may affect a student. It’s available online, on demand.
The Epilepsy Foundation also offers a free, online Seizure Recognition and First Aid Certification program that anyone can take to learn how to recognize a seizure, how to provide first aid, and when to call for help. This program is helpful for families, friends, caregivers, and others your child may interact with before and after the school day.
Use these tips to make sure your child with epilepsy has the support she needs to stay safe at school.
3. Help other students understand epilepsy.
Teachers can find resources on CDC’s Body and Mind (BAM) website. There, they can learn more about epilepsy, what a seizure looks like, stigma and bullying, and how to provide seizure first aid.
4. Find Support
If you have questions about epilepsy, want to find others to talk to online or in a local support group, or want to find community events, visit CDC’s Find Support page.
Parents of teens may have specific concerns about how to manage epilepsy as their children become more independent. CDC’s You Are Not Alone Parent Toolkit can help! Learn from other families as they talk about driving, dating, medicine, stress, school problems, and other important issues. Parents can use the toolkit on their own or lead a support group.