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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for night terrors in child

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Dr. Archana Verma

Pediatrician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 1129 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 26 Oct 2015 in Child Health
Question: for the past 3 nights my daughter who is 3 wakes up out of her sleep screaming, kicking & head butting her pillow. when I try to console her she will hit, scratch and pull away from me. there is literally nothing I can do about these episodes and I am beginning to worry if something is wrong with her. when I ask her what is wrong she won't talk all she does is babble. my daughter is usually a very verbal child and you can understand her well. I don't know what to do and I've became really worried. please help
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Answered by Dr. Archana Verma 26 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Night terror

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Welcome to the HCM

I understand your concerns but don't worry. Your child seems to be suffering from night terrors. A night terror is a sleep disruption that seems similar to a nightmare, but with a far more dramatic presentation. It happens because the brain is in its developing stage in this age group. Though night terrors can be alarming when witnessed, they're not usually cause for concern or a sign of a deeper medical issue.

The best way to handle a night terror is to wait it out patiently and make sure the child doesn't get hurt by thrashing around. Kids usually will settle down and return to sleep on their own in a few minutes.

It's best not to try to wake kids during a night terror. Attempts usually don't work, and kids who do wake are likely to be disoriented and confused, and may take longer to settle down and go back to sleep.

There's no treatment for night terrors, but you can help prevent them. Try to:

-establish and stick to a bedtime routine that's simple and relaxing.
-make sure your child gets enough rest
-prevent your child from becoming overtired by staying up too late

Usually it improves with age. In case it seems to be very frequent, then visit a sleep therapist for proper clinical examination and management.

Hopefully this will help you.
Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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