In a community based study, 110 children with febrile convulsions (FC) were identified prospectively. Pre- and perinatal risk factors were compared with 213 age and sex matched controls sampled from the community. During pregnancy, proteinuria and preeclampsia/eclampsia occurred more often in mothers of cases. Premature birth and bilirubinemia greater than 200 mumol/l were also more common in cases. There were no differences between cases and controls in occurrence of chronic illnesses in mothers, parents age at birth, birth order, and factors occurring during delivery such as type of anesthesia, occurrence of acute or elective cesarean section, use of vacuum extraction, mode of presentation, signs of fetal distress in amnion fluid, umbilical problems, abnormalities of fetal heart rate or duration of delivery. Perinatal asphyxia was uncommon and there was no difference between cases and referents. Occurrence of complications during the first neonatal week did not differ between groups.