Activity Restrictions

No activity is completely safe. The goal is to keep children safe without overly restricting their activities.

Exercise and seizures

Some parents whose children have epilepsy discourage them from exercise as they are afraid it will bring on a seizure. It is very rare for someone to have a seizure while exercising. Rather than triggering seizures, physical activity can actually decrease them.

Exercise and safety

  • When participating in group sports, make sure a least one of a child's team-mates, coaches or teachers is aware of the child's seizures and knows what to do if one occurs.
  • Children with seizures should never swim alone. Instead they should swim with supervision using the "buddy system."
  • It is much safer to swim in the clear water of a pool than in a lake, river, or sea.
  • Children should wear a life jacket when involved in other water sports.
  • If children have frequent seizures, certain activities are not recommended. For example, swimming alone, mountain climbing and scuba diving.
  • Riding a bike in traffic should be avoided, but children may ride a bike in safer settings.
  • Children with epilepsy should wear a helmet while biking.
  • Contact sports are generally safe for people with epilepsy. The concern with contact sports is the chance of injury to the head or body. As with other kids, this should be avoided.
  • Prolonged physical activity in the heat may provoke seizures. In such cases, plenty of cool drinks and frequent rest periods can help reduce this risk.
  • People with epilepsy should be encouraged to participate in most sports and athletics.