Febrile Seizures



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.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.