Febrile Seizure

This happens when a young child with a fever starts to convulse. It may be scary for parents, but it usually won't harm your child.


What causes a febrile seizure? It's triggered by the fever. Often, the fever is linked to an infection. Or, your child may have a fever after getting a vaccination. The tendency to have these seizures runs in families. But any child can have a febrile seizure.


What are the symptoms? During a seizure, your child's eyes may roll back. Their arms and legs may stiffen. The muscles on the sides of their body may get tense. They may jerk and fall down. They may cry or moan, and they may bite their tongue. They may vomit or pass urine. And they may stop breathing temporarily.

Length of a seizure

Febrile seizures usually last for no more than about ten seconds, but they can last longer. Sometimes they last for several minutes. When a seizure ends, your child may seem tired or confused.

During a seizure

What should you do during a seizure? Lay your child on their side on a soft surface where they won't fall. Move things that could harm them. Loosen tight clothing. Don't try to prevent them from jerking, and don't put anything in their mouth. And start timing the seizure so you'll have this info for the doctor.

After a seizure

When the seizure finishes, call your child's doctor right away. For a seizure that lasts more than five minutes, call for emergency help.