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Anticipatory Guidance

Frequently asked questions:


  • Will my child have a seizure again? 

    • Only 20-25% of typically developing, otherwise healthy children will experience recurrence of seizures. This means 75% or more will not have any further seizure activity

  • Could my child die if it happens again?

    • Death after a first recurrence of a simple febrile seizure has never been reported. 

  • Does brain damage occur?

    • Brief seizures do not cause brain damage.

  • What special precautions should we take with our child?

    • Children should not be left unattended in any amount of standing water (bathtub, swimming pool, etc). Showers are okay as long as an adult is aware the child is in the shower and the door is not locked. A trusted adult should directly supervise the child in swimming pools, not just the lifeguard.

    • Children may participate in athletics as long as they wear a helmet when appropriate for a given sport, as would any other child.

    • Children should wear a helmet when operating any wheeled devices (tricycle, bicycle, scooter, roller skates, etc).

    • Children should be supervised at heights (monkey bars, etc).

    • Older children/adolescents should not cook over an open flame/stovetop for risk of injury. Microwave use is okay.

    • Adolescents of driving age may not operate a vehicle for 6 months after a seizure as per Kansas and Missouri law. These laws vary by state. Adolescents may resume driving after achieving 6 months of seizure freedom.


These guidelines do not establish a standard of care to be followed in every case. It is recognized that each case is different and those individuals involved in providing health care are expected to use their judgment in determining what is in the best interests of the patient based on the circumstances existing at the time. It is impossible to anticipate all possible situations that may exist and to prepare guidelines for each. Accordingly these guidelines should guide care with the understanding that departures from them may be required at times.