Learning to live with a chronic medical condition can require many necessary adjustments to one’s way of life. When you are prone to seizures, seemingly run of the mill activities could now pose potential safety risks. Particularly if an individual’s seizures are not well controlled or the individual lives alone, certain precautions should be put in place to make personal safety a priority. Taking some simple precautions can significantly reduce one’s risk of injury due to seizure in the home. Read on for some tips that will help to ensure that your home environment is the safe haven it is intended to be.
- Use the back burners when cooking on the stovetop.
- Turn the pan handles towards the back of the stove.
- Use a food processor to chop food items versus using knives, if possible.
- Plastic glasses and dinnerware should be used whenever possible.
- Members of the household should be trained in performing the Heimlich maneuver should you have a seizure while eating and start choking.
- Never lock the door while in the bathroom so that you can be reached in case you have a seizure.
- Take showers instead of baths.
- Consider hanging the door so that it swings outward rather than inward. This way help can reach you, even if you collapse against the door.
- A shower seat and handheld shower nozzle may be beneficial for those prone to falls and/or drop seizures. A shower safety bar can be installed, as well.
- Add non skid strips to the shower floor.
- Use electric razors.
- If you have a glass shower door(s), the glass should be shatterproof. Even better, remove the doors and use a shower curtain instead.
- Carpet is preferable to hardwood, linoleum, or tile flooring. If you use area rugs, make sure they have non slip rug pads underneath.
- Avoid glass furniture such as coffee tables.
- Secure any heavy items such as TV’s or computers so that they are anchored and not likely to fall on top of you in the event of a seizure.
- Use a well secured fireplace screen when having a fire.
- Use furniture pads on any pieces of furniture with sharp, pointed edges. When shopping for new pieces of furniture, look for items with rounded edges.
- Avoid clutter and keep open pathways.
- Position the bed away from the wall, nightstands, or other hard or sharp objects.
- Use a seizure monitor or detection device while sleeping.
- Use a bed that is low and close to the floor.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Consider using a safety pillow and avoid having too many pillows and blankets on the bed.
- Avoid ladders
- Provide a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor with a key or the code to your keyless door to access your home.
- Use a lawn mower with an automatic stop switch.
- Safety guards, protective gear, and extra precaution should be used if operating power tools.
- Don’t smoke or use matches when alone.
- Don’t swim alone.
- Have smoke alarms installed and check the batteries regularly.
- Keep seizure medications out of reach of children in the home.
The type of seizures one has, the frequency with which they occur, and the amount of seizure control will help determine changes made to the home environment in order to create safety and security for the individual living with epilepsy and their loved ones.