seizure. During a febrile seizure, a child often has spasms or jerking movements—largeor small—and may lose consciousness. Febrile seizures usually last only a minute ortwo. They are most common with fevers reaching 102°F (38.9°C) or higher, but can alsooccur at lower temperatures or when a fever is going back down.
What kinds of things can cause febrile seizures?
Febrile seizures may happen with any condition that causes a fever, including typicalchildhood illnesses like ear infections or even the common cold. Measles was a commoncause of febrile seizures in the U.S. before it became a rare disease due to the success of the vaccination program.
Who is most at risk for febrile seizures?
Febrile seizures are not uncommon. About 2-5% of young children will have at least onefebrile seizure. Most febrile seizures occur in children between the ages of 6 months and5 years. The peak age is 14 through18 months, which overlaps with the ages when firstdoses of the MMRV, MMR, and varicella vaccines are recommended. A child who hasalready had a febrile seizure is more likely to have another one. Also if a member of achild's immediate family (a brother, sister, or parent) has had febrile seizures, that childis more likely to have a febrile seizure.
How serious is a febrile seizure?
Most children who have febrile seizures recover quickly and have no lasting effects.However, febrile seizures often result in a visit to an emergency room and can be veryfrightening for parents and caregivers.About 1 in 3 children who have one febrile seizure will have at least one more febrileseizure. Most children (>90%) will not develop epilepsy. Genetic predisposition andother factors such as cerebral palsy, delayed development, or other neurologicalabnormalities increase the risk for future development of epilepsy after a febrile seizure.Two studies have shown that children who have febrile seizures after receiving an MMRvaccine are no more likely to have epilepsy or learning or developmental problems thanchildren who have febrile seizures that are not associated with a vaccine. Experts believeit is likely that this finding for MMR vaccine applies to MMRV vaccine as well.
Is there an increased risk of fever or febrile seizures associated with the MMRV vaccine when it is used as asecond dose?
Studies do not suggest that children who are 4 through 6 years old and receive theMMRV vaccine have an increased risk of febrile seizures after vaccination whencompared with those who receive the MMR and varicella vaccines at the same doctorvisit. In addition, the second dose of MMRV vaccine is less likely to cause fever than thefirst dose.
How do I decide which option to use for my child’s second vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella, and
Page 3 of 4Vaccines: VDP-VAC/combo/MMRV/FAQs Options for Parents and Caregivers3/23/2011http://www.cdc.gov/print.do?url=http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/combo-vaccines/m...