Febrile Seizure Prognosis

Most children recover completely from febrile seizures, without long-lasting complications. Although frightening for parents and caregivers, simple febrile seizures usually are harmless. Complex febrile seizures may indicate a more serious medical condition and increase the risk for epilepsy slightly.

Prevention of Febrile Seizure

Febrile seizures cannot always be prevented. Limiting exposure to viruses that cause upper respiratory infections (e.g., by frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with anyone who is sick) may help reduce the risk for illnesses that cause fever, but this has not been proven to reduce the risk for febrile seizures. Parents and caregivers should follow the advice of a qualified health care provider regarding the use of fever-reducing medicines (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen) in young children.

In children who are prone to febrile seizures, a medication called diazepam may be administered orally or rectally when fever is present to help prevent seizures. Side effects of this medication include hyperactivity, drowsiness, and lack of coordination.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014