Fever seizures (febrile seizures) are uncontrolled muscle
spasms and unresponsiveness in a child that are caused by a rapid increase in
body temperature. They usually last 1 to 3 minutes and are seldom
Fevers that lead to a fever seizure may develop so
quickly that parents did not even realize that their child's temperature was
rising. After a fever has reached a high temperature, the risk of a seizure is
Fever seizures are not a form of epilepsy. A
seizure is likely to be fever-related if:
There is one seizure in a 24-hour period.
The seizure lasted less than 15 minutes.
The seizure affected the entire body, not just one side of the
The child is age 6 months to 5 years
The child does not have nervous system (neurological)
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine