Febrile seizures are convulsions that occur in some children with fevers. They affect kids 6 months to 5 years old (most commonly, toddlers 12-18 months old), and usually happen on the first day of a fever above 100.4ºF (38ºC).
Although they can be frightening, febrile seizures usually stop on their own after a few minutes and don't cause any other health problems.
During a febrile seizure, your child may:
If you think your child is having a seizure due to fever, try to stay calm and:
No one knows why febrile seizures happen, so they usually can't be prevented. If your child is uncomfortable due to the fever, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed. It's important to call your doctor for an evaluation after a febrile seizure.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014
|AAP Pediatric Referral Department Use this website to find a pediatrician in your area or to find general health information for parents from birth through age 21.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Word! Seizure You might hear a seizure called a convulsion, fit, or spell.|
|Febrile Seizures Febrile seizures are full-body convulsions caused by high fevers that affect young kids. Although they can be frightening, they usually stop on their own and don't cause any other health problems.|
|Fever and Taking Your Child's Temperature Although it can be frightening when your child's temperature rises, fever itself causes no harm and can actually be a good thing - it's often the body's way of fighting infections.|
|Seizures Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. Find out what you need to know about seizures and what to do if your child has one.|
|First Aid: Fever Fevers are usually not cause for alarm - they're the body's way of fighting infection. Here's what to do if your child has a fever.|
|I Get Seizures But Tests Show I'm OK. What's Going On? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|A Kid's Guide to Fever What are fevers? Why do kids get them? Get the facts on temperatures and fevers in this article for kids.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.