Epilepsy affects about 1 percent of children in the U.S., commonly recognized for recurrent seizures. For kids, and parents, seizures can be pretty frightening in themselves but they can also be the cause accidental injuries. The following tips can help you identify key areas of the home that cause the most accidental injures in kids with epilepsy.
In the living area:
- Use padding on the sharp corners of tables and countertops.
- Avoid glass coffee or end tables.
- Place guards around any fireplaces, wood stoves and radiators.
- Don’t allow smoking in your home.
- If your home has stairs, put a safety-gate at the top. Carpeting on stairs and at the bottom is recommended to reduce injuries during falls and slips resulting from loss of balance.
In the bedroom:
- Use a low-lying bed in case of any falls.
In the kitchen:
- Use the back burners first when cooking.
- Serve hot liquids like hot cocoa in containers with lids to avoid spills and burns.
- If you child is old enough to prepare his or her own food, cooking with the microwave is safest when unsupervised.
In the bathroom:
- Hairdryers and curling irons should be placed out of reach and turned off when not in sight.
- Even in the lowest water levels, drowning is still a possibility so encourage showers rather than baths. If your child does take baths, never leave him or her unattended or ask that the bathroom door remain unlocked in case of emergency.
- Use safety glass in mirrors and shower doors.
In the yard:
- Shut and lock doors that lead to outside areas. Alarms that are triggered when doors are opened are helpful. Always keep an extra key with a neighbor, family member or friend.
- When using equipment like lawn mowers make sure they have an automatic shut off switch and that all sharp edges or blades have safety covers.
- If your home has a pool never leave your child unsupervised around it.
Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta, Ga. is the only children’s hospital in the area that delivers top-rated pediatric neurological care for children with acute and chronic neurological and developmental disorders. We have a staff of skilled pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons that can diagnosis, monitor and care for epilepsy. Request an appointment or call 706-721-KIDS (5437).