Teens Lack Knowledge on Seizures

Campaign raises awareness about epilepsy

SUNDAY, Nov. 24, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Many American teenagers don't know what to do if a friend has an epileptic seizure, says a survey by the Epilepsy Foundation.

One in 100 American teens has epilepsy, but 68 percent of teenagers in the survey said they wouldn't know how to help someone having a seizure.

In order to address that lack of awareness, the Epilepsy Foundation is focusing on seizure education during the second year of its "Entitled to Respect" public information campaign.

The campaign's goal is to increase awareness of epilepsy among all teenagers and 10-12 years olds, to provide them with the knowledge to help when someone's having a seizure, and to increase respect for children and teenagers who have epilepsy.

Most epileptic seizures last a minute or two and are not an emergency. But it's important to know basic first aid.

Here are nine recommended steps for dealing with a person having an epileptic seizure:

  • Cushion the person's head and remove her glasses if necessary.
  • Loosen tight clothing.
  • Turn the person on her side.
  • Time the seizure with a watch.
  • If the seizure lasts more than five minutes, call for medical help.
  • Don't put anything in her mouth.
  • Look for medical I.D.
  • Do not hold the person down.
  • As the seizure ends, offer the person help and support.

More Information

To learn more, visit the Entitled to Respect Web site.

SOURCE: Epilepsy Foundation, news release, November 2002
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