You want your child to be safe, happy, and as healthy as possible. You also want to make sure your child gets the best possible education. Federal and state law ensures that children with disabilities such as epilepsy have the right to a good education.
For these students, that means implementing an education plan that will work with your child’s needs. You can help make your child’s education plan complete by providing the school with a seizure action plan.
In the way that no two epilepsies are alike, a seizure action plan is a specific to your child. This plan will allow the school to have all the key information about your child's epilepsy in one handy document.
Fortunately, putting together a seizure action plan is something you can do as a parent, along with the help of your child’s pediatrician and neurologist. Let’s look at the things you will need to do to develop this plan.
What Is a Seizure Action Plan?
This plan is a document that contains the vital information regarding your child’s needs when it comes to his or her seizures. It is for the school nurse, staff and educators at your child’s school, and it should be detailed enough that it presents all of the necessary information to help keep your child safe. The school will use the plan to contact the appropriate people and follow the appropriate steps when a seizure occurs. The Epilepsy Foundation offers a free copy which you may download here.
Contact Information – Keep it Updated!
The plan should include contact information for you, your spouse and/or others who need to be contacted in the event of an incident at the school, on a bus, during a field trip, etc. In addition, it should have the name and contact information of the physician who will be treating your child. Provide the medical and seizure history of your child. For example, you will want to indicate the type(s) of seizures your child has, how long they usually last, and how frequent the seizures typically occur.
It is also important to make sure that you list any triggers that could be cause for a seizure. This can help educators make sure those triggers are avoided in the classroom. Include any warning signs that could indicate a seizure is on the way. Children with epilepsy should not be exposed to their seizure triggers and the school staff needs to know what triggers are specific to your child.
Detail your child’s reaction to seizures, and be sure that the plan includes basic first aid procedures and care, and what needs to happen in an emergency. Include the treatment protocol, including daily medications or emergency medications, if there are any. Make note of any side effects those medications could have, as well. If there are any other safety or special concerns, they need to be noted, too.
The more thorough and complete you are when you are creating the plan the better. Once you have created the plan, it is a good idea to run it past your pediatrician and neurologist to see if they have anything they believe should be added. The form should be signed by both the parent/guardian and the physician. It would be wise to revisit your form annually for updates in case any changes have occurred.
Who Gets a Copy of the Plan?
It’s important to provide a copy to everyone at the school who has the most frequent interaction with your child. If your child has several teachers, give a copy to each teacher.
To get you started on creating your list of names, here are some staff roles that frequently interact with students:
- Teacher’s Aides
- School nurses
- Bus Drivers
Be sure to keep a copy for yourself. In addition, review your child’s plan annually. Make any updates and then redistribute the new version.
Parent Tip: Be prepared before school starts up. Schedule this important back-to-school task into your smart phone calendar and set an alert or jot it down on a paper calendar. Either way, be proactive and maximize your child's safety.
Does Your Child's Teacher Know How to Help A Student Having a Seizure?
Give to a Teacher.