Febrile seizures

Febrile seizures can happen when a child has a fever.

They usually happen in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Febrile seizures are not epilepsy and most children make a complete recovery afterwards.

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 a child has had, the more likely it is that they will develop epilepsy.

Published: September 2019
Last modified: July 2023
To be reviewed: September 2022
Tracking: F099.04
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