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Febrile Seizures in Children
  1. Mohamad A. Mikati,
  2. Amal C. Rahi
  1. Department of Paediatrics and Adult and Paediatric Epilepsy Programme, American University of Beirut, Medical Centre, Lebanon; E-mail: mamikati{at}


Febrile seizures are seizures that occur between the age of 3 months and 5 years, with a temperature of 38 °C or higher, and which are not the result of central nervous system infection or any metabolic imbalance. They are either simple (referred to as typical) or complex (atypical):

  • A simple febrile seizure is a primary generalized, usually tonic-clonic attack, associated with fever, lasting no more than 15 min, and not recurring within a 24-h period.

  • Complex febrile seizures, on the other hand, are more prolonged, focal, and/or recur within 24 hours (Baumann & Duffner 2000).

Between 2 and 5% of neurologically healthy infants and children experience at least one, usually simple, febrile seizure.


The risk of recurrence

The only definite risk associated with simple febrile seizures is recurrence. This occurs in 30% of those experiencing a first episode, in 50% after two

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