It is Halloween and we know that everyone loves putting on costumes and going out in their neighbourhoods trick-or-treating, receiving as much candy as possible! Most people with epilepsy can go out and experience the joys of these traditions. However, there are some things that can be done to mitigate the risks associated with all the change and excitement. If trick-or-treating is in your plans, then be sure the child is with an adult or older child who knows what to do if they have a seizure. We’d like to share some other ways that you can make sure that everyone stays safe and healthy. Follow our 5 tips for staying safe this Halloween while still having a fun time.
- Get Enough Sleep: Since sleep deprivation is a very common trigger for seizures, it’s important to make sure you aren’t staying out too late. Stick to your normal sleep schedule as much as possible, and don’t deter too much from your regular bedtime even when you’re having lots of fun.
- Take your Medications: Another top trigger for causing a seizure is missing medication doses. Make sure that you continue to take your medication at the same scheduled time as prescribed by your doctor. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re out having so much fun, so bring your medication with you and set an alarm so that you remember when it’s time to take your dose.
- Avoid Other Triggers: In line with the top triggers like lack of sleep and missing medication doses, we would like to remind you to avoid any other known triggers for your seizures. For example, some haunted houses or decorations may include flashing lights, so if you have photosensitive epilepsy, avoid going near these situations. Another example, that adults may encounter, is avoiding alcohol and drugs – another commonly known trigger. Reducing stress is also something to consider, for example, sticking to well-known areas can help reduce the unknowns that often create stressful conditions.
- Wear or Bring Medical ID: Medical identification can be worn as a medical bracelet to inform others around you during a seizure or medical incident that you have epilepsy so that they understand how to treat you in an emergency. Additionally, or if you don’t have a bracelet available, you can create a card that explains that you have epilepsy and explains other applicable information (such as your medication list and emergency contacts) so that people around you could use it in a medical situation.
- Create a plan for the candy: Some children are on a ketogenic diet and eating candy can be physically bad for them. Some ideas that can be done at home are to make keto-friendly snacks before (or instead of) going out trick-or-treating. If the child still wants to go out and collect candy around the neighbourhood, the caregivers can arrange a plan to switch the candy for games or gifts once the child returns home.
Do you have any cool costumes or purple pumpkin decorations that you’d like to share with us this year? Send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will enjoy seeing all your Halloween Spirit. Enjoy your time and stay safe!