With the ongoing COVID19 situation, we are also receiving a lot of questions from concerned parents about what the current situation may mean for their children with epilepsy. While much of the advice here, echoes our general piece on COVID19 & epilepsy here, we have outlined the most common questions we have been faced with from a parent's perspective below:
1) Is my child more at risk from Covid-19 due to their epilepsy?
There have been many thousands of cases of Covid-19 worldwide including cases in children and the information to date indicates that epilepsy is not a high risk condition in relation to Covid-19. However, fever carries a risk of seizures and prevention is the same as with any illness with fever, by taking measures to reduce temperature including using a paracetamol product suitable for children in a format and schedule of dosage as indicated for the child’s age. Your pharmacist can advise if you have any questions about suitable products.
2) Can I get in touch with my child’s neurology team if I need to?
Many neurology services have a specialist nurse helpline attached to them and they can respond to queries you might have. Meanwhile, many neurologists are holding virtual appointments via video conference and over the phone while clinic visits aren’t possible.
3) How can I help my child with day to day issues at home?
There is a helpful article on our website here about coping with epilepsy and daily life in lockdown which gives useful tips to manage stress and make tasks more manageable. Many children will miss their friends and classmates and this can be hard for them so finding ways to support them with that is important. Some behaviour and mood issues may be a result of responses to the restrictions and missing life as it was before Covid-19. Having a routine and structure in the day will help the child feel more in control of their situation. If your child has questions or concerns about Covid-19 there are further resources including how to talk to children about it here.
4) What can I do if my child is struggling with learning at home?
If your child is struggling with schoolwork the school may need to know that this a problem for them. If they are spending long periods studying or on online classes they may need to take regular breaks and rest periods to avoid becoming fatigued. If your child is finding it hard to keep motivated about school work, listen to them about their concerns. Encourage them to work to their strengths to build up their confidence. Since you are spending more time together, you may notice things about their learning style that weren’t so obvious before and that you can adapt to suit their learning needs. If you have concerns about your child’s learning, the school may be able to offer advice and strategies to help.
5) Will the Covid 19 situation affect my child’s epilepsy medication supply?
The Coronavirus section of our website has a section on frequently asked questions dealing with epilepsy management and medication availability here.
Remember - we are still here for you so if you have any questions about your child's epilepsy during this period, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your local Community Resource Officer. There are also a suite of further resources available on our dedicated COVID section which you may find ouf use during this time. See more here.
In relation to COVID19 & Epilepsy, there are currently a number of surveys that have been commissioned seeking to better establish the experiences, needs & requirements of people with epilepsy and their families during this pandemic. We would appreciate if you could take the time to complete these as every response is vital in learning more about what this virus means for people with epilepsy. Two ongoing surveys on this matter can be found HERE & HERE.