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Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson's Centre

Epilepsy Blog

Seasonal Safety Tips



Summer is finally here! As such it is important to consider some safety and health issues that people with epilepsy may have during this season. These can be related to swimming, travel, and light or heat sensitivity. Below are some tips to help make these activities safer and to help avoid situations that may trigger a seizure.

Swim with someone who is familiar with your needs and is strong enough to help you if you have a seizure (e.g. be able to hold your head out of the water). It is preferable to swim in an area that is supervised by a lifeguard who has been informed about your condition. You can also wear a life jacket or floatation device. Note: lakes, oceans, and streams can be more dangerous to swim in due to the unpredictability of the depth and currents. Click here for more tips on swim safety and what to do if someone has a seizure in water.

It is important to plan in advance about how to manage seizures and seizure triggers while traveling or in unfamiliar surroundings. This includes how to access emergency medical services, adjusting dosage times of medications, and knowing the regulations about transporting medications (particularly when bringing liquid formulations on a plane). Disruption in sleep schedules, travel insurance, and accessing special transportation or housing accommodations should also be investigated and prepared for in advance. For more information, please read our information sheet Travel and Epilepsy.

 Light Sensitivity
If seizures are triggered by bright or flickering lights, light reflecting off splashing water or through trees in a moving vehicle could potentially trigger a seizure. Blue tinted polarized sunglasses worn during outdoor activities may help minimize this risk. Click here for tips on how to avoid these potential seizure triggers.




 Heat Sensitivity
Some people with epilepsy may be sensitive to heat. Stay cool by limiting sun exposure and by dressing in lightweight and light coloured clothing. Another tip is to spend more time in facilities that have air conditioning, such as libraries or malls. For extreme heat intolerance a cooling vest can help reduce body temperature.

Other Considerations
Be sure to drink more water to keep hydrated and keep a regular sleep schedule. Take breaks when you feel you need them and pace yourself. And of course, don’t forget the sunscreen! 




Posted by BC Epilepsy Society on 23rd Jul 2014 12:08pm