Fever Seizures - Topic Overview
(sometimes called fever convulsions or febrile seizures) can
occur in children who have a rapid increase in body temperature. You may not
even know that your child has a fever. The rapid increase in body temperature in a
short period of time may happen at the same time as the fever seizure. After a fever has reached a
high temperature, the risk of a seizure is probably over. Most children who
have a fever seizure have temperatures above
seizure is likely to be fever-related if:
- There is one seizure in a 24-hour period.
- The seizure lasted less than 15 minutes.
- The seizure affected the entire body, not just one side of the
- The child is between 6 months and 5 years
- The child does not have nervous system (neurological)
- The child has had fever seizures before.
Fever seizures can
be frightening but they are not usually harmful to the child and do not cause
long-term problems, such as brain damage,
intellectual disabilities, or learning
Fever seizures affect 2% to 5% of children.
Children can have another seizure. The chance of another fever seizure varies
with age, but about 30% to 50% will have another within a year of the first
one. These seizures are not a form of
A child who is having a seizure
consciousness and shakes, moving his or her arms and
legs on both sides of the body. The child's eyes may roll back. The child may
stop breathing for a few seconds and might also vomit, urinate, or pass stools.
It is important to
protect the child from injury during a seizure.
Fever seizures usually last 1 to 3 minutes. After the seizure, the child
may be sleepy. You can let the child sleep, but check him or her frequently for
changes in color or breathing, or for twitching arms or legs. The child also may
seem confused after the seizure, but normal behavior and activity level should
return within 60 minutes of the seizure.
your child's symptoms to decide if and when your child should see a