Summer is here and time for vacations! Does having epilepsy or having a child or family member with epilepsy alter your plans? For the majority of people, living with epilepsy shouldn't change vacation plans, but some forethought and planning may be needed. For people with uncontrolled seizures, the planning should be more deliberate. Where you go, how you get there, and what types of activities you plan need to consider the risks of living with epilepsy. Vacation locations will depend on how easily you can get there if you don't drive and on the availability of transportation once you arrive at your destination.
Take a look at Traveling with Epilepsy as you plan your vacation time. Make sure to remember :
- Take enough seizure medication to last for longer than you plan to be away
- Take a list of seizure medications, your doctor's name and office number, pharmacy phone number and any other contact info you may need if you run into problems while traveling.
- Talk to your epilepsy doctor or health care professional about safety risks while traveling, especially swimming, boating, climbing or other high risk activities.
- Update (or create one if you haven't done one yet) your My Seizure Plan or Seizure Action Plan.
- Talk to your epilepsy doctor or health care professional about safety risks while traveling, especially swimming, boating, climbing or other high risk activities
- Think about what factors may trigger your seizures. Make a plan on how to avoid these or lessen their effect. For example, if your seizures worsen with sleep deprivation, try to keep to regular sleep schedules while you are away and allow time to catch up on sleep too!
- Watch your stress level! While vacations are supposed to be relaxing, they can also be stressful, depending on how you travel and where you go. Pace yourself and plan some stress relieving activities!
Whatever you do, planning ahead can help you and your family have an enjoyable time and stay safe!