Many parents have experienced the worry and stress linked with a childhood febrile seizure, but the risks associated with these convulsions have been difficult to determine. A large Danish study of over 55 000 children with a history of febrile seizures has shown that long-term mortality does not appear to be increased in these children. The 28-year study identified a higher mortality rate in the first and second year after a febrile convulsion, with the rate returning to baseline for the normal population after this period. A nested case-control study examining the type and duration of seizure showed that children who experienced simple (15 minutes or less and no recurrence within 24 hours) febrile seizures had a mortality rate similar to the general population. The authors comment that the findings should serve to reassure parents of children who suffer simple febrile convulsions.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.