How to bathe safely when you have epilepsy? This question is not trivial since, as Professor Fabrice Bartolomei reminds us in Epilepsy France : ” drowning is a major cause of death in patients with epilepsy. 70% of them occur in a private environment (swimming pool, bathtub). There are important conditions and measures to take, including monitoring and support.

Read also: Our advice for reacting well to a drowning

Recommendations to follow

In a statement published on July 12, the association Epilepsy France lists the safety instructions to follow:

  • Never swim alone
  • Warn those around you of the risk of a crisis
  • Give priority to supervised swimming areas
  • Before swimming: notify the lifeguards and have an attendant capable of carrying out the rescue maneuvers
  • Accompany the child step by step in the water
  • Wear a life belt or life jacket
  • Vigilance must be the same in private swimming pools
  • At sea, lake or boat, wear a life jacket and stay accompanied
  • Support workers and families: learn life-saving gestures

To read also: Epilepsy: what origins, what treatments?

Respect these instructions at all times

As the association points out, certain forms of epilepsy are more exposed than others to this risk of drowning. This is the case with seizures with loss of consciousness or those with convulsions. Regarding crises “in the form of absences”, They also expose to accidents.

Since there are no warning signs, these instructions should be followed at all times. Prof. Fabrice Bartolomei specifies: “ even if the crises are rare, the danger is present and it is necessary to redouble surveillance, even more because one is ultimately less attentive in these cases.

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This monitoring should not be limited to bathing times. It is required when a person with epilepsy is at the edge of the water, a river or a canal, fishing or on the quay of a port.