Epilepsy in Children
Parents, use these tips to make sure your child with epilepsy is safe and supported during the school day.
Parents may feel a mix of excitement and worry as a new school year begins. This is especially true for parents of children with epilepsy and seizures who worry about safety during the school day. Here are some tips to keep students with epilepsy safer as they head back to school.
1. Make a Seizure Action Plan.
A Seizure Action Plan contains the essential information school staff may need to know in order to help a student who has seizures. It includes first aid steps, parent and health care provider contact information, and medicines that may need to be taken during the school day. See an example of a Seizure Action Planpdf iconexternal icon from the Epilepsy Foundation.
Read the Ideas for Parents pdf icon[PDF – 2.62MB] fact sheet for more tips on what to include in an action plan and how to talk to your child’s school.
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 could participate in these programs.
- Managing Students with Seizures for School Nursesexternal icon teaches school nurses how to care for students with seizures and train other school staff. It is available online or in person.
- Seizure Training for School Personnelexternal icon 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 is available online or in person.
- Seizure Training for Childcare Personnelexternal icon teaches childcare providers how to recognize seizures and provide seizure first aid for young children. It is available in person through your local Epilepsy Foundation office.
3. Help other students understand epilepsy.
Use these tips to make sure your child with epilepsy has the support she needs to stay safe at school.
CDC also supports the Epilepsy Foundation to deliver education programsexternal icon that teach K-12 students about epilepsy and seizure first aid. Talk to your child’s school to see if they would be willing to share these programs, which can be delivered by your local Epilepsy Foundation office:
- Take Charge of the Storm Jr. for elementary school students.
- Seizures and You: Take Charge of the Storm for middle school-aged students.
- Seizures and You: Take Charge of the Facts for high school-aged students.
CDC’s Body and Mind (BAM) website provides teachers and students information about epilepsy. The topics covered include what a seizure looks like, facts about epilepsy, 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’ examples 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.