Managing Seizures at School - Minnesota Department of Health

Managing Seizures in School

Training Opportunities

What are Seizures?

Seizures happen because of brief electrical surges in the brain. Depending on where the surge in the brain happens, seizures can look very different. Sometimes they cause people to fall and shake, other times people having a seizure look like they're daydreaming or staring off. Sometimes people aren't even aware they are having a seizure. A person with epilepsy is not contagious and cannot give epilepsy to another person.

About 1 out of 10 people will have a seizure during their lifetime, and once someone has two or more unprovoked seizures they are often diagnosed with epilepsy.

The CDC estimates that 0.6% of children aged 0-17 years have active epilepsy. Think of a school with 1,000 students—this means about 6 of them could have epilepsy. CDC Epilepsy Fast Facts

Epilepsy can affect people in very different ways because there are many causes and many kinds of seizures. Some people may have multiple types of seizures or other medical conditions in addition to epilepsy. These factors play a major role in determining both the severity of the person's condition and the impact it has on his or her life.

Epilepsy may increase children's chances of having a mood or learning disorder. Children may be more likely to suffer from depression, headaches, ulcers, and other physical conditions. Living with Epilepsy: Related Conditions

Minnesota public school districts or charter schools: Required seizure response training and action plan.

Effective the 2022-2023 school year and beyond, new Minnesota Statutes require Minnesota public schools and charter schools to implement seizure action plans and training to meet the needs of students with a seizure disorder and who may need seizure rescue medication administration. The statute outlines the requirements when an enrolled student requires an individualized plan, how to recognize, respond and provide medication for seizures. It also describes what is required to be included the seizure action plan:

  • At least one employee, at each school site, who is on duty, to respond to the student and implement the seizure action plan,
  • That identified employee(s) receive training and a copy of the seizure action plan.
  • A school district or charter school must provide all licensed school nurses or, in the absence of a licensed school nurse, a professional nurse or designated individual, and other school staff working with the students appropriate training materials and resources that comply with this requirement.

Schools should review the statute for specific details and requirements. Minnesota Statute 121A.24 Seizure Training and Action Plan

What is a seizure action plan?

A seizure action plan, as defined in Minnesota Statute 121A.24, means a written individualized health plan designed to acknowledge and prepare for the health care needs of a student with a seizure disorder diagnosed by the student's treating licensed health care provider. The statute states a seizure action plan must:

  1. identify a school nurse or a designated individual at each school site who is on duty during the regular school day and can administer or assist with the administration of seizure rescue medication or medication prescribed to treat seizure disorder symptoms approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

  2. require training on seizure medications for an employee identified under clause (1), recognition of signs and symptoms of seizures, and appropriate steps to respond to seizures.

  3. be filed in the office of the school principal or licensed school nurse or, in the absence of a licensed school nurse, a professional nurse or designated individual.

  4. A school district or charter school employee or volunteer responsible for the supervision or care of a student with a diagnosed seizure disorder must be given notice and a copy of the seizure action plan, the name or position of the employee identified under paragraph (c), clause (1), and the method by which the trained school employee may be contacted in an emergency.

What are the training requirements?

Minnesota Statute 121A.24 Subd.2. A school district or charter school must provide all licensed school nurses or, in the absence of a licensed school nurse, a professional nurse or designated individual, and other school staff working with students with self-study materials on seizure disorder signs, symptoms, medications, and appropriate responses.

Each school must have a staff member on site who is trained in seizure recognition & response and how to administer emergency medication.

Schools will find additional information and resources in Frequently Asked Questions and Implementation Toolkit to assist with implementing these requirements.

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Updated Tuesday, 31-May-2022 11:24:31 CDT