Febrile seizure


A febrile seizure refers to a convulsive episode occurring in a child, typically triggered by the presence of a fever. Fever is frequently caused by an infection. Young, healthy children with normal development and no prior history of neurological problems may experience febrile seizures.

When your child experiences a febrile seizure, it might be scary. Thankfully, febrile seizures are normally innocuous, only last a few minutes, and don’t usually signify a significant medical issue.

You can assist by ensuring your child’s safety throughout a febrile seizure and by providing support following it. After a febrile seizure, call your doctor to get your child evaluated as soon as you can.


A child having a febrile seizure typically shakes all over and falls unconscious. The child may occasionally become quite stiff or twitch only in that particular area of the body.

When having a febrile seizure, a child might:

  • Have shaking or jerking of upper and lower limbs
  • Experience a fever of more than 100.4 F (38.0 C)
  • Become unconscious

Simple or complex febrile seizures are categorized as follows:

  • Simple febrile seizures. The typical duration of this type ranges from a few seconds to 15 minutes. Simple febrile seizures don’t come back within a day and don’t affect only one part of the body.
  • Complex febrile seizures. This type affects only one side of your child’s body, lasts longer than 15 minutes, or happens more than once in a 24hour period.

Most frequently starting within a day after a fever, febrile seizures might be a child’s first indicator of illness.

After your child experiences their first febrile seizure, even if it just lasts a few seconds, take them to the doctor as soon as you can. If the seizure lasts more than five minutes or is accompanied by the following, call an ambulance to take your child to the hospital:

  • Breathing problems
  • Excessively sleepy
  • Vomiting
  • A stiff neck


Frequent febrile seizures are typically brought on by elevated body temperatures. A febrile seizure can be brought on by even a lowgrade fever.


Viral infections are more frequently to blame for the fevers that result in febrile seizures than bacterial infections. The two viruses that usually cause high fevers, influenza and roseola appear to be most frequently linked to febrile seizures.

Post-vaccination seizures

Some children vaccines may raise the risk of febrile seizures. These include the measlesmumpsrubella vaccination and the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine. After receiving a vaccination, a kid may experience a lowgrade fever. The seizure is brought on by the temperature, not the shot.

Risk factors

A febrile seizure is more likely to occur when certain conditions exist, such as:

  • Young age. The majority of febrile seizures affect children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, with the risk being highest between the months of 12 and 18 months.
  • Family history. Some kids have the family predisposition to fever and seizures. Researchers have also connected a number of genes to a predisposition to febrile seizures.