School nurses and staff can be prepared to recognize and treat seizures in the school setting. Seizures may occur for many reasons, including infection, fever, traumatic brain injury, neurological disorder, or related to a drug or medication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 0.6% of children aged 0 to 17 are estimated to have seizure conditions. One of the most prevalent neurological illnesses affecting children and young people is epilepsy, a condition characterized by recurrent seizures with no other identifiable cause. An epilepsy diagnosis extends beyond having seizures; it can impact many areas of a child’s life, including education. It is approximated that about half of the children with epilepsy struggle academically. The purpose of this resource guide is to assist school nurses and school staff in providing a safe and supportive environment for individuals with seizures and epilepsies to maximize educational and developmental opportunities.
The Department is happy to release the Maine Guide to School Health Services: Seizure and Epilepsy Resource Guide for school nurses to utilize within their schools. The purpose of this resource guide is to assist school nurses, educators, and all school staff members to help students with a seizure disorder participate fully and meet goals pertaining to academics, physical education, and extracurricular activities. This can be accomplished through clinical assessments, monitoring, nutrition, exercise, staff/student education and risk reduction measures. This document provides relevant, up-to-date information collected after review and collation of the most current content available from several national organizations. The Office of School and Students Supports Coordinated School Health team is pleased to provide this resource in order to support the evidence-based best practices for students with seizures in Maine schools.
The full Guide and other resources can be downloaded here. You may contact DOESchoolandStudentSupports@Maine.gov with any questions.