Children on edge of pool

Families

Drowning and Epilepsy

EpilepsyStudies report an increased risk of drowning among those with epilepsy, citing that they are between 5 and 15 times more likely to drown than people without epilepsy. In Australia, between 2005/06-2015/16, approximately 61 people with a history of epilepsy drowned. The home environment is the most common place for epilepsy related drowning, specifically in the bathroom.

People with epilepsy can be very competent and confident swimmers, however extra precautions need to be taken. Children need to be actively supervised at all times (including when bathing) and adults should have a buddy with them either in the water or regularly checking up on them. Adherence to any anti-seizure medication is also important.

Click here to download a print friendly version of the Epilepsy and Drowning Fact Sheet.