Safety at School or Work
A SAP is particularly important in settings where a primary caregiver or partner who understands the patient’s epilepsy is not present.
In a school setting a child may need both a SAP and medical orders for the school nurse, depending on the school system, and school nurses may be able to help with the development of a SAP for the school setting. A school SAP may need to be adapted to include information about the recommended length and intensity of observation required after a seizure or administration of rescue meds . Additionally, aspects of the SAP may need to be incorporated into the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). A school SAP may need additional background on the child’s typical seizure pattern and understanding seizure clusters, as this can be an area of uncertainty among school nurses, and some school systems may have differing requirements about the need to notify emergency medical services in a seizure emergency . The SAP Coalition virtual backpack offers a checklist and resources to assure your child has everything they need in place at school to help keep them safe.
The Epilepsy Foundation has launched a nationwide initiative to pass Seizure Safe Schools legislation in all states. The model bill has five key components: requiring school personnel to complete a seizure recognition and first-aid response training; mandating that a Seizure Action Plan is made part of the student’s file and made available for school personnel and volunteers responsible for the student; ensuring that any FDA-approved medication prescribed by the treating physician is administered to the student living with epilepsy; educating and training students about epilepsy and first-aid response; and a Good Samaritan clause. The number of components included in the bill will vary by state. To date, 12 states have enacted Seizure Safe Schools legislation – Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, Oklahoma, Colorado, Alabama, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
If a chance exists you will have a seizure at work, it is a good idea to share your SAP with your employer and co-workers, as well as to determine any accommodations that will keep you safe in the workplace.