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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Epilepsy and Seizures

Having a child with epilepsy I feel there are a lot of misconceptions and lack of understanding of epilepsy and seizures by the general public.
First, from the Epilepsy Advocate Community email newsletter
I receive, here's some information on what to do for some one experiencing a seizure.

In case of a seizure with convulsions

If you’re nearby when I have a seizure with convulsions, here’s how you can help:

1. Roll me onto my side—this will prevent choking in case I vomit, or have something in my mouth.

2. Cushion my head.

3. Loosen any tight clothing around my neck.

4. Keep my airway open so I can breathe. If necessary, you can grip my jaw gently and tilt my head back.

5. Don’t restrict my movement unless I’m in danger.

6. Don’t put anything into my mouth—not even medicine or liquid! These can cause choking or damage my jaw, tongue, and teeth. The widespread belief that people can swallow their tongues during a seizure is a myth.

7. Remove any sharp or solid objects that I might hit during the seizure.

8. Take note of how long the seizure lasts and what symptoms occur so you can tell a doctor or emergency personnel if necessary.

9. Stay with me until the seizure ends.

In case of a seizure without convulsions

Non-convulsive seizures may cause people to behave in ways that seem unusual. For example, they may wander aimlessly or make unusual gestures—but it’s not on purpose! If you’re around when I have a non-convulsive seizure, here’s how you can help:

1. Remove any dangerous objects from the area around me or in my path.

2. Don’t try to stop me from wandering unless I’m in danger.

3. Don’t shake me or shout.

4. Stay with me until I’m completely alert.

When to call 911

When a person has epilepsy, a routine seizure may not be a medical emergency. But, it’s important to call 911 in the following cases:

• The person having the seizure is pregnant or has diabetes.

• The seizure occurs in water.

• The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.

• The person does not begin breathing again or does not return to consciousness after the seizure stops.

• Another seizure starts before the person regains consciousness.

• The person is injured during the seizure.

Go to this link:
To print out some easy-to-use Care Cards. Simply fill out a card with important information, like contact numbers and signs of a seizure. Have your child carry one and share with people who may need to know what to do if your child has a seizure. It is easy, valuable and helps people understand epilepsy better.

By visiting the Epilepsy Classroom one can find tools and tips for parents and teachers including how to talk about epilepsy, lesson plans, and seizure first aid.
Go here to learn more:

You'll find lesson plans for:
Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8
Grades 9-12

Other Teacher Resource tools to help you and your school be prepared for:
What to do during a seizure
How to address a seizure with your class
How to inform parents
Resources for your school
The social impact of epilepsy

and Parent Resources on this site for:
Which faculty and school staff to inform of your child’s epilepsy
How to talk with your child’s teachers
Working to overcome the social stigma of epilepsy

For: Epilepsy 101, Types of Seizures, Warning Signs, Triggers, and Treatment
Go to:

Note: Should anyone like a blank record keeping sheet, like the one I use to keep track of David's seizures, just email me and I'll send you the attachment. It is in Microsoft Word. You can just print it out and then make photocopies of it.

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