Written by MJN
Concern, as most parents can say, is part of being a parent. They all want to keep their children safe, whether or not they have epilepsy. However, when you have a child with epilepsy, the concern takes on a new meaning, as potential damage seems to lurk at every step.
In summer, this fear is increased by a factor: water. At this time of year, water-related activities such as the beach, swimming pool or summer camps arise. All children like to play in it, however, swimming and other aquatic activities have an inherent risk for some children with epilepsy.
Like other safety tips, precautions with water may vary depending on the type and frequency of seizures. However, all children, regardless of frequency or severity, should first discuss water safety with their neurologist. Some may be advised not to swim at all, while others may be allowed to swim with appropriate precautions and supervision.
To help promote safety in the water, the Epilepsy Foundation recommends following these steps:
- Children with frequent seizures or seizures that alter state of consciousness may need individual supervision and may not be allowed to swim in water above their head.
- A life jacket or flotation device is recommended for children in or near open bodies of water or during water activities.
- Remember that inflatable toys are not safety devices.
- Encourage your child to take swimming lessons.