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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. Febrile seizures do not cause brain damage or other long-term health problems.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.

Your child may need extra oxygen

if his blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. Your child may get oxygen through a mask placed over his nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in his nostrils. Ask your child's healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.


  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection
  • Seizure medicine may be given to prevent another seizure.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen help decrease pain or a fever.
  • IV fluids may be given if your child is dehydrated.


  • Blood or urine tests may be done to check for infection and get information about his or her overall health.
  • A neurologic exam is also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. A neurologic exam can show healthcare providers how well your child's brain works. Healthcare providers will check how your child's pupils (black dots in the center of each eye) react to light. They may check his memory and how easily he wakes up. Your child's hand grasp and balance may also be tested.
  • A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is a procedure used to take a sample of fluid that surrounds your child's spinal cord. Your child's healthcare provider will insert a needle into your child's spine. The fluid will be taken through the needle. The fluid will be tested for signs of infection.
  • An EEG records the electrical activity of your child's brain. It is used to find changes in the normal patterns of his brain activity.
  • A brain CT or MRI may show the cause of your child's febrile seizure. Your child may be given contrast liquid to help his brain show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not let your child enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has any metal in or on his or her body.


Your child may have an increased risk of having another febrile seizure. Your child may have an increased risk of developing epilepsy if the seizure lasts more than 15 minutes. Your child's risk may also be increased if or he or she has more than one seizure in 24 hours. Your child may be injured or may choke on food or saliva during a seizure. Food or fluids may get into his or her lungs and cause a lung infection.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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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.

Learn more about Febrile Seizure in Children (Inpatient Care)

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