Febrile seizure is a unique and common form of seizure in childhood. Although various types occur (tonic, tonic-clonic, and clonic), the characteristics of a simple febrile seizure separate it from other symptomatic and idiopathic seizure disorders. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conference of Febrile Seizure defined it as 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.3 Typically, these seizures are generalized and last less than 10 min, and there is no postictal focal neurologic deficit. The EEG usually does not reveal paroxysmal (epileptic) activity, and there often is a family history of similar seizures. Typically, a rapid rise in temperature, usually above 38.8°C (101.8°F), occurs at the onset of the illness and, on occasion, recurs several times in the course of the illness. Three to four percent of young children experience febrile seizures and, of these, 30 to 40 percent have recurrences, especially when the first seizure occurs when a child is younger than 1 year of age. The mortality from simple febrile seizures is extremely low.
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