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Febrile Seizure In Children


A febrile seizure is a convulsion (uncontrolled shaking) caused by a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. A fever caused by any reason can bring on a febrile seizure in children. Febrile seizures can be simple or complex. A simple febrile seizure lasts less than 15 minutes and does not happen again within 24 hours. A complex febrile seizure lasts longer than 15 minutes or may happen again within 24 hours.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child stops breathing, turns blue, or you cannot feel his pulse.
  • Your child cannot be woken after his seizure.
  • Your child's seizure lasts more than 5 minutes.
  • Your child has more than 1 seizure before he is fully awake or aware.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child's fever does not improve after you give him medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

If your child has another seizure:

  • Do not panic.
  • Note the start time of the seizure. Record how long it lasts.
  • Gently guide your child to the floor or a soft surface. Remove sharp or hard objects from the area surrounding him, or cushion his head.
    First Aid: Convulsions
  • Place your child on his side to help prevent him from swallowing saliva or vomit.
    First Aid: Convulsions
  • Remove any objects from your child's mouth. Do not put anything in your child's mouth. This may prevent him from breathing.
  • Perform CPR if your child stops breathing or you cannot feel his pulse.


  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. Taking too much acetaminophen can hurt your child's liver. Read labels so that you know the active ingredients in each medicine that your child takes. Talk to your child's healthcare provider before giving your child more than one medicine that contains acetaminophen. Ask your child's healthcare provider before giving him over-the-counter medicine if he is also taking pain medicine prescribed (ordered) for him.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.