About Epilepsy > Epilepsy Safety > Sports & Recreation

People with epilepsy can still enjoy an active lifestyle.

Most sports and recreational activities are both safe and beneficial for people with epilepsy, promoting fitness and stress reduction, as well as maintaining bone mass. Here are some safety tips:

  • Wear the appropriate safety gear, such as helmets, flotation devices, elbow and kneepads.
  • Exercise on soft surfaces like grass or mats whenever possible.
  • Stay cool when exercising by taking frequent breaks.
  • Swimming can be safe and enjoyable, but always with a buddy who is an experienced swimmer. Inform the lifeguard about your seizures, and consider wearing an easily identifiable bathing cap or flotation device.
  • Consider avoiding or modifying sports with increased risk of a head injury. For example, touch football is safer than tackle (for anybody).
  • When bicycling or rollerblading, wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads. If the helmet liner is damaged in an accident the entire helmet must be replaced.
  • Avoid busy roads and solo trips.
  • Avoid boating, snowmobiling or skiing alone. Consider the use of a safety strap and hook when riding the ski lift.
  • Skydiving, deep-sea diving, or hang-gliding are not recommended.
  • Before taking up sports that would put you in danger if you were suddenly unaware of what you were doing, review the risks and benefits.

Thanks to the information provided by the Epilepsy Foundation of America in its brochure Safety and Seizures.