by EBSCO Medical Review Board
(Fever Seizures)


A febrile seizure is a convulsion that may happen when a baby or young child has a fever over 100.4° F (38° C).


A high fever is thought to trigger the seizure. The fever is most often caused by infections. Rarely, some may be caused by fever after routine immunizations.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in children who are 6 months to 3 years of age. The risk may last until age 5. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Family history of febrile seizures
  • Developmental delay problems
  • Having a viral infection
  • Recent immunization


A seizure often lasts a few seconds up to 15 minutes. It may cause:

  • Fever
  • Convulsion—jerking or stiffening muscles
  • Eye rolling
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Vomiting


You will be asked about your child's symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis. More tests may be done to find the cause of the fever.

MRI Scan
MRI of the Brain
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Febrile seizures go away as children get older. The goal of treatment is to manage the fevers that cause them. This can be done with medicines such as:

  • Antibiotics to treat infection
  • Medicine to lower the fever
  • A rectal valium gel— may be used in children who have repeat seizures


There is no way to prevent febrile seizures. Treating fevers may help prevent the seizures from happening again.


Epilepsy Foundation 

Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics 


Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society 

Health Canada 


Febrile seizure. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 18, 2022.

Febrile seizures fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: Accessed April 18, 2022.

Febrile seizures. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Accessed April 18, 2022.

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