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Epilepsy – Safety Precautions and Recommendations

October 12, 2021


Although having seizures can be anxiety provoking and can even cause injuries in some circumstances, most people with epilepsy live completely normal lives, except for when they have a seizure. What this means is that when the person’s seizures are completely controlled with medication or sometimes with surgical treatment, the person can lead a perfectly normal life and do all the things anybody else can do. However, in general, for people with epilepsy, we recommend that they follow some simple safety precautions. For example, they should take showers rather than baths to avoid drowning in the bathtub if they have a seizure while bathing. They should not swim without somebody keeping an eye on them from the shore. Here in New York City, we tell all of our patients to stand back behind the yellow line on subway platforms at all times. And of course, here in New York State, a person with epilepsy is not allowed to drive if they have had a seizure in the past year. However, many people with epilepsy whose seizures are well controlled still can drive. And we also recommend that people at risk of seizure avoid climbing ladders, working at heights or operating dangerous machinery.

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