Pronounced: FEEB-ril SEE-zherzEn Español (Spanish Version)
A febrile seizure is a convulsion (shaking, twitching, muscle tightness) or fainting associated with a fever. It occurs in infants or small children. This seizure is not associated with any other illness or medical condition except the fever.
There are two types of febrile seizures:
Simple febrile seizures:
- Convulsions last between a few seconds to 15 minutes
- Seizures are followed by a period of confusion and sleepiness which slowly goes away
Complex febrile seizures:
- Last longer than 15 minutes
- Occur more than once within 24 hours
- Convulsions which affect only part the body
Febrile seizures can be alarming. Fortunately, children tend to outgrow these seizures. There is also a low risk for long term physical or mental disorders.
High body temperature due to a fever is believed to trigger the seizure. The fever is most often caused by common viral infections. Some febrile seizures may be caused by fever after routine immunizations.
Last reviewedAugust 2014by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.