Febrile Seizures | Complications

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If my child has a febrile seizure, does this mean that he or she has epilepsy?

No. A single seizure does not mean your child has epilepsy. Even repeated febrile seizures aren't considered epilepsy, because children outgrow the risk of having a seizure caused by fever. A child who has epilepsy usually has 2 or more seizures that aren't caused by fever.

Febrile seizures don't cause epilepsy. But the chance of epilepsy developing in a child who has had several febrile seizures is slightly higher than if he or she didn't have a febrile seizure. The chance of epilepsy developing in a child who has had a febrile seizure is about 2% to 4%. There is no evidence that treating your child with medicine for febrile seizures will prevent epilepsy.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 10/95

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