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Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 19:04 GMT
Epilepsy CD-ROM for schools
Epileptic children can have a normal school life

The British Epilepsy Association is hoping that a free CD-Rom supplied to schools will help break down some of the stigma that surrounds the condition.

The association believes that both staff and pupils, in primary and secondary education are often unaware of the causes and effects of epilepsy, and do not know what to do if a pupil has a seizure during school hours.

The CD-Rom, which takes the form of an interactive quiz, is designed to be used both in class and the staff room.

Conventional schooling

The vast majority of children with epilepsy are able to attend conventional schools, although some may require special needs education.

Some schools have a written policy on epilepsy, but the BEA says that some children suffer an additional penalty because staff simply do not know how to react should they have a seizure.

Children with epilepsy can also fall prey to schoolyard bullies because of their condition.

A spokesman for the association said: "The CD-Rom is designed to increase the awareness of epilepsy in schools.

"We hope that it will enable people to behave in a more appropriate way to those with epilepsy."

Topics dealt with in the package include facts and figures about epilepsy, the causes of the condition, the correct first aid procedures to give, and how to spot the difference between types of seizure.

It is aimed at the nine to 16 age group as well as teachers.

Most well-controlled

Approximately 400,000 adults and children in the UK suffer from some form of epilepsy, although most are well controlled by medication and will rarely, if ever, suffer a seizure.

Surveys have shown that many people would react wrongly if confronted with an epileptic having a fit.

As many as a third of those interviewed said they would try and put something in the mouth of somebody having a seizure, or try and restrain them, although these are not the right things to do.

In fact, an epileptic is only in danger of swallowing the tongue when the fit has finished, and should be rolled over onto their side into the "recovery position" at that time to prevent this happening
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See also:
28 Jun 99 |  Health
Public 'ignorant' about epilepsy
25 Jun 99 |  Health
Coffee may stimulate epilepsy in newborns
10 Aug 99 |  Health
On-line community for epilepsy
27 Jan 99 |  Health
Thousands mislabelled epileptic

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