A major problem for children with epilepsy is the well-meaning efforts of adults to protect them from harm.
Parents may limit a child's participation in the usual childhood activities because of fear that a seizure will occur during the activity, or that exertion will somehow trigger a seizure.
This is unfortunate for several reasons. First, vigorous physical activity is not generally associated with a greater number of seizures; in fact, studies suggest fewer seizures will occur when the average child is active.
Secondly, the child is excluded from experiences that would help him develop social skills and self confidence. This sense of being different, of being unable to join what others are doing, encourages dependence in the child and keeps him socially immature.
The school experience offers the child with epilepsy a unique opportunity to break this pattern of over-protection and isolation. Wherever possible, he should be encouraged to take part in all school activities.
Careful supervision is needed when a child who is still having some seizures takes swimming or gym, but with appropriate safeguards these activities can be safely undertaken.