Travelling with Epilepsy
Children and adolescents with epilepsy are able to enjoy holidays and flights. There are a few important points to be aware of when it comes to travelling.
It is recognized that seizures can be precipitated by being tired and stressed. When travelling, especially by air, it is important to try to keep to a regular routine and avoid sleep deprivation.
If flying, it is advisable to notify the cabin crew of your child’s epilepsy and the type of seizures your child may have. This can help alleviate the potential of ‘panic’ on board the airplane if your child does have a seizure.
We recommend that you keep your full supply of medications in your hand luggage in the original containers, in case your main luggage gets misplaced or delayed. You should always ensure you have sufficient medications for the whole time away and an additional few doses in case of delays. Liquid medication is more problematic. Necessary prescription and non prescription medicines are exempt from the 100ml limit. All exempt items need to be presented separately at the aiport security screening point. Security screening officers may request proof of need for medications. It is also important to have a written letter from your GP or specialist listing the names of the prescription and non-prescription drugs, dosages and frequency of administration. Information can be found on the Australian Government website.
If you are away from your treating hospital and need to present to a hospital for an emergency, it is very helpful to have a medical letter detailing the diagnosis and treatment. It is also helpful to have an emergency seizure management plan.
When administering medications overseas, it is important to continue to take them at regular intervals and the same time as usual. To avoid confusion you can leave one watch on the usual Australian time. If you are travelling over several time zones, this often leads to medicine needing to be administered at unusual times. You may need to gradually adjust when the medication is given, so that it can be given at a more appropriate time of day. To help with this you can discuss with your pharmacist, GP or specialist.
This page was created in March 2012 and last reviewed in December 2017.