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Why is Sam's Law important?
Epilepsy is the 4th most common leading brain disorder. In Texas, it is estimated that *49,050 children have active epilepsy **(CDC, Epilepsy Data and Statistics). Children spend a significant amount of time in school, and for those children that have epilepsy, it’s important that the proper measures are taken to keep those children, and other children, safe. Therefore, personnel that interact with children with epilepsy on a daily basis need to be trained in epilepsy recognition and seizure first aid to be able to make the appropriate and necessary steps to help those students.
Why should school personnel be required to have seizure training?
School personnel need proper training to acquire the necessary skills and confidence to intervene when a student is experiencing a seizure. Mandated training is one way to ensure this.
What are the training requirements?
The training required by Sam's Law is simple. School personnel and school nurses will undergo training that covers seizure recognition and first aid. At this time, training courses are pending approval, but additional training is available at Epilepsy.com.
School nurses would be required to undergo a specialized training.
In Texas, there are approximately 841 students per school nurse. In 2005, research indicated the only 60% of school nurses felt confident in their ability to manage students with seizures. To address this concern, the Epilepsy Foundation partnered with the National Association of School Nurses to develop a comprehensive training program. After participation in the Managing Students with Seizures program nurses showed improvement in their confidence to handle epilepsy at school (Austin, Kakacek & Carr, 2010). By participating in Managing Students with Seizures program, school nurses will enhance their knowledge of epilepsy and will optimize the delivery of care for students with seizures.
When should training be completed?
TEA will determine when training should be completed.
How much does the training cost?
The training is FREE. Contact your local Epilepsy Foundation Affiliate for details on training options.
How do I schedule a training?
To schedule an in-person training, please contact your local Epilepsy Foundation Affiliate. However, this training has yet to be approved by TEA.
Don't know which affiliate to contact? Find out here.
What if someone is opposed to completing the training?
The school district is responsible for making sure that all school personnel who are in regular contact with students/children complete their training in a timely manner.
Are school personnel held legally liable for their actions after training?
No. The immunity from liability provided by section 22.0511 applies to an action or failure to act by a district employee.
What is a Seizure Action Plan (SAP)?
A Seizure Action Plan (SAP) is a short form written by the student's neurologist and parent(s). It describes in detail any anti-epileptic medications and emergency medications the child may take, triggers, types of seizures the child has, frequency of seizures, proper first aid for that specific child, emergency protocols, and other important information like emergency and neurologist contact information.
The Epilepsy Foundation believes a Seizure Action Plan is essential to preventing an emergency and informing others what to do in emergency situations when a student experiences a seizure in school. Seizure Action Plans are absolutely vital in ensuring the safety of students who suffer from epilepsy. You can download and view a Seizure Action Plan here.
*Source: 2018 Texas Population Projections (http://txsdc.utsa.edu/Data/TPEPP/Projections/)
**Source: MMWR Vol 66, No. 31 (https://