Sam’s Law for seizure-smart schools
“A life that touches others goes on forever.”
This line is inscribed on Samantha Watkins’ tombstone.
Sam was an 18-year-old high school student in Kilgore, Texas. She was an honor student, member of the National Honors Society, a Texas scholar, and on the soccer team. Three months after she was diagnosed with epilepsy, Sam suffered a massive seizure that caused her death.
The love for Samantha started the push for Sam’s Law (HB 684) introduced by Texas Representative Travis Clardy and signed by Governor Greg Abbott on June 11, 2019.
Sam’s Law will require all Texas public school personnel to be trained in seizure recognition and seizure first aid. According to a legislative statement: “In Texas, there are nearly 50,000 students who are afflicted with seizures, and this bill will make schools a safer environment for these students by providing teachers and school employees with life-saving training.”
All material needed to implement this training, as well as additional information on seizures, will be provided to the schools free of charge, courtesy of the Epilepsy Foundation Texas affiliates
The Epilepsy Foundation recommends that schools have a Seizure Action Plan (SAP) in place for each child diagnosed with epilepsy.
It is a short form written by the student’s neurologist and parent(s), describing 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 and emergency protocols.
Embrace users will be able to provide accurate data about their seizure activity, such as frequency and duration, thanks to the Mate app.
It is also recommended that they would include in the SAP information related to the Embrace system’s functionality, as well as the contact details of their caregivers and neurologist.
“In Texas, there are nearly 50,000 students who are afflicted with seizures.”
Embrace2 is the first wrist-worn wearable in the field of epilepsy to be cleared by the FDA as a medical device for children. Those parents of students living with epilepsy, based in the U.S., who are considering purchasing the Embrace, can read our answers to some of the most asked questions about Embrace here, and learn how to obtain a valid prescription for the device.
A seizure action plan can turn out to be essential in preventing an emergency and informing others what to do when a student experiences a seizure in school.
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.
“I think this will do a lot of good,” state Rep. Travis Clardy said about the new law that kicks in with the new school year in August. He said it could become a model law throughout the nation.
We at Empatica hope too that other states and countries will follow suit, making more schools around the world a seizure-safe environment for students with epilepsy.