Helpline

07 3435 5000  or

1300 852 853 (Regional Qld)

9am - 4pm (Mon-Fri)

Safety Checklist

Around the Home

Kitchen

  • Consider a microwave instead of stove top oven
  • If using a stove use the back elements and turn pan handles away from the stove
  • Consider a temperature controlled hot water service
  • Serve hot dishes from a bench instead of carrying them to the table
  • Use cordless electrical appliances with automatic switch off and appliances like food processors rather than using sharp knives
  • Use rubber gloves when washing dishes
  • Use non breakable crockery and have hot drinks in a mug with a lid
  • If using a dishwasher place points and sharp objects down & close door when not in use
  • Consider cupboards with recessed handles
  • Minimise the use of knives; consider buying pre-sliced food

Living Room

  • Use fixed fireguards around a fireplace
  • Consider round rather than square or rectangular coffee tables
  • Use shatterproof glass for big windows
  • For photosensitive seizures reduce the contrast of the television screen by turning on the lights in the room and sit at least 3 metres from the set. A quality TV (with 100hz refresh rate), LCD or plasma screens are also useful
  • LCD screens for computers are flicker free and useful for people with photosensitive epilepsy (See Photosensitive epilepsy fact sheet for extra information)

Bathroom

  • Consider a temperature controlled hot water service
  • Always turn on cold water first
  • Use a handheld shower attachment in the shower and in the bath if no shower available. Remember to leave the plug out
  • Consider shower curtains rather than a glass screen or in the case of a glass screen use reinforced glass
  • Consider rubber backed mats
  • Avoid the use of electrical appliances like hairdryers and electrical razors near water. Consider the use of a shower chair
  • In the toilet an outward opening door is very important
  • Toilet roll holder on the floor beside or behind the toilet may minimise injury if someone has a seizure while on the toilet

Bedroom

  • Don’t sleep on top bunk, use a low bed
  • Consider tightly fitted sheets
  • Sleep without a pillow or use a firm porous pillow
  • Consider bed alarms or other monitor device if seizures are frequent during sleep

And more generally:

  • Install smoke alarms and minimise clutter
  • You might want to consider walkways are clear before going to bed at night
  • If electrical cords are a consideration, tape them to the floor
  • Consider doors that are outward opening, sliding, half doors or doors that are easily removed
  • Don’t lock internal doors and if using a deadlock leave the key in the lock. Use security sets for bathrooms and toilets if needed. These can be unlocked from the outside if necessary
  • Consider having safety switches in the metre box installed by an electrician
  • Minimise sharp edges and corners
  • Avoid living in accommodation with stairs or consider a safety gate at the top of the stairs
  • Wear an identification bracelet or have information available in case of a seizure
  • Keep medications out of reach of children. Store in a cool dry place and do not remove from pillbox or Webster pack ahead of time
  • Push button phones can be programmed so that pushing a particular button after a seizure alerts a relative or friend that the person may need some help
  • Minimise glass for example in doors, cupboards and table tops

Cycling, swimming and water sports

  • Never swim alone and while participating in water activities take a friend or carer
  • Let a lifeguard know about your condition
  • Wear lifejackets in boats and when fishing
  • Avoid scuba diving and high board diving 
  • Avoid water that is too hot in spas and keep up fluids
  • Always wear a helmet (this is law anyway) and use bike track/lanes where possible

And more generally:

  • Whenever participating in an activity where a fall may be possible or it poses the risk of a head injury, use protective head gear
  • Be aware of over exertion or over heating, drink plenty of water
  • If possible try to choose activities that take place on softer surfaces such as grass, mats etc.
  • Consider if it is useful to have a gym buddy, if using weights, stationary equipment etc.

Work/school

  • What safety considerations are needed?
  • Have you informed someone that you have epilepsy?
  • Are policies and procedures in place should a seizure occur?
  • Does the school or workplace have a recovery room?
  • Is an individual emergency plan necessary?
  • Have guidelines with driving and use of machinery been understood?
  • Does the workplace or school need some epilepsy education?

Information reviewed by the Services Team May 14

To be reviewed May 16

This fact sheet was written by Epilepsy Australia and appears on www.epilepsyaustralia.net. Epilepsy Queensland is an affiliate of Epilepsy Australia and has permission to print this information.

To download this factsheet click here