Epilepsy at School
Use these tips to make sure your child with epilepsy gets the care and support they need at school.
Parents often feel a mix of excitement and worry when a new school year begins. Parents of students with epilepsy and seizures may have extra concerns about their child having a seizure during the school day. As your child with epilepsy returns to school, use these tips to make sure they get the care and support they need.
1. Make a Seizure Action Plan.
A Seizure Action Plan has the resources school staff need to help a student who has seizures. It includes first aid steps and contact information for parents and health care providers. It also includes medicines that the student may need during the school day.
2. Help school staff get trained.
Free, online, and on-demand training programs are available to school staff. Programs developed by CDC and the Epilepsy Foundation include:
- Seizure Training for School Nurses: This series of programs teaches school nurses how to care for students with seizures. It include continuing education credits.
- Seizure Training for School Personnel: This program teaches office staff, teachers, bus drivers, and other school staff to recognize seizures, provide first aid, and understand how epilepsy may affect a student.
Talk to your child’s school to see if school staff can participate in these programs. You can also share information about a new toolkit from the National Association of School Nurses, called Supporting Students with Epilepsy: A Toolkit for School Nurses.
3. Help other students understand epilepsy.
Teachers can find classroom resources on CDC’s Body and Mind (BAM) website to help them talk to students about epilepsy, what a seizure looks like, stigma and bullying, and how to provide seizure first aid.
4. Find Support
If you want to find others to talk to online or in a local support group, or find community events, visit CDC’s Find Support page. You can also learn more about other epilepsy-related back-to-school topics through the Epilepsy Alliance America’s Back to School resources.
A free, online Seizure Recognition and First Aid Certification program is available for anyone who wants to learn how to recognize a seizure and provide first aid. This program is helpful for families, friends, caregivers, and others your child may interact with before and after the school day.
Parents of teens who have epilepsy may have specific concerns about how to manage this condition as their children become more independent. CDC’s You Are Not Alone Parent Toolkit can help! Learn from other families who have teens with epilepsy 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.