Safety Checklists

The following checklists will help you to stay safe around your home, work or school:

 

Around the house

The Kitchen

  • Consider a microwave instead of stove top or 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 and close door when not in use
  • Consider cupboards with recessed handles
  • Minimise the use of knives; Consider buying pre sliced food

The 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

The 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

The 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

Generally around the home

  • Install smoke alarms and minimise clutter
  • Clear walkways before going to bed at night
  • Tape any electrical cords 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

At School or Work

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?

Leisure Activities and Playing Sport

  • 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, such as in a spa. Drink plenty of water
  • Always wear a helmet (this is law anyway) and use bike track/lanes where possible
  • 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.

Download this Safety checklist. It’s a good idea to refer back to it from time to time to ensure you are living a safe and happy life.

Source: Epifile: An Epilepsy Management Manual. Epilepsy Australia Ltd. Updated June 2013.

For more information please see Epilepsy Australia

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