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Epilepsy is a tendency to have recurrent seizures (sometimes called fits). Seizures occur when there is a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in the brain, causing a temporary disruption in the normal passing of message between brain cells. There are many different types of seizure and how someone reacts will vary, depending on where in the brain epileptic activity begins.

Living with epilepsy

Many people with epilepsy do not know what causes it, but once diagnosed, it is often treated with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Modern AEDs can be very effective.

Certain factors make seizures more likely for some people with epilepsy. These are often referred to as ‘triggers’. Triggers can include stress, not sleeping well or drinking too much alcohol. Some people have found that they have more seizures if they miss meals. Not taking epilepsy medication is another common trigger. However, it is important to remember that not all people with epilepsy know what triggers seizures.

Some, but not all, people with epilepsy will not be able to drive, either temporarily or permanently. This should be taken into account if you have an adult volunteer with epilepsy.

Supporting Scouts with epilepsy 

The most important means of supporting a Scout with epilepsy is to talk to them and their parents/Carers about measures you can put in place to ensure they have a fulfilling time in Scouting. They may be able to give you more information about how it affects them and what support they need, if any. However, sensitively addressing the following practical considerations may be beneficial: 

First aid for epileptic seizures

Seizures can be manifested in many different ways. However, there are a few practical actions to take in the event of an epileptic seizure occurring.



Call an ambulance if:

This information was written in conjuction with Epilepsy Action. For further support, please visit their website or contact 0808 800 5050. You can also contact The Scout Information Centre at UKHQ via info.centre@scouts.org.uk


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