Febrile seizures

Pediatr Ann. 2013 Dec;42(12):249-54. doi: 10.3928/00904481-20131122-09.


Febrile seizures are the most common form of childhood seizures, affecting 2% to 5% of children. They are considered benign and self-limiting; however, a febrile seizure is a terrifying event for most parents, and is one of the most common causes of trips to the emergency room. A febrile seizure is "an event in infancy or childhood, usually occurring between 3 months and 5 years of age, associated with fever but without evidence of intracranial infection or defined cause." This definition excludes seizures with fever in children who have had a prior afebrile seizure. In 2011, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a clinical practice guideline defining a febrile seizure as "a seizure accompanied by fever (temperature ≥ 100.4°F or 38°C by any method), without central nervous system infection, that occurs in infants and children 6 through 60 months of age." Febrile seizures are further classified as simple or complex. This article reviews the evaluation, management, and prognosis of simple and complex seizures, including febrile status epilepticus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Seizures, Febrile* / complications
  • Seizures, Febrile* / diagnosis
  • Seizures, Febrile* / epidemiology
  • Seizures, Febrile* / therapy
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis
  • Status Epilepticus / etiology
  • Status Epilepticus / therapy