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Febrile seizures

Children under 6

Febrile seizures are seizures that are triggered by a high temperature.  They happen to around 3 or 4 out of every 100 children under the age of 6.  They are usually linked to a childhood illness, such as tonsillitis. Febrile seizures are not epilepsy. But children who have had febrile seizures have a higher chance of developing epilepsy when they are older, than children in general.

You can find more information about febrile seizures on the NHS website.

Children aged 6 and over

It’s unusual for a child over the age of 6 to continue having febrile seizures. If they do, they might have a form of epilepsy, and your doctor may want to do some tests to look into this.

The link between febrile seizures and epilepsy

The more febrile seizures they have had, the more likely it is that they will develop epilepsy.  

Information with references

If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone on 0808 800 5050. 


Epilepsy Action would like to thank Dr Amanda Freeman, Consultant Paediatrician at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, UK for her contribution to this information.

Dr Amanda Freeman has no conflict of interest to declare.

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated September 2019
    To be reviewed September 2022

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