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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes involuntary shaking of the head in a child?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Diptanshu Das

Pediatrician

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3625 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 28 May 2018 in Child Health
Question: Toddler, age 13 months, head shaking involuntarily back and forth as if saying "no"
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Could be a convulsive episode. Needs prompt evaluation.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on Health Care Magic.

I have gone through your query. However, I need a few other details. I need to ask:
* Whether there was only a single episode
* Whether associated with high rise of temperature or any other symptoms
* How long did it last
* Was the child normal thereafter

The mentioned episode could be a convulsive episode and if that is the case it may require prompt attention. In such a case I would insist you to visit the ER and to get the child evaluated.

Let me know if I could help further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das 13 hours later
Occasional episodes. No rise in temp or other symptoms. Shaking lasts less than3 seconds. Child completely normal thereafter.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Harmless

Detailed Answer:
Those are possibly myoclonic jerks. They are harmless and nothing to be concerned about. No need to worry.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das 6 hours later
Am confused by word "jerk" as there is no "jerk" discernible as she shakes her head from side to side. Also, the duration of the shaking is probably about 5 seconds, not 3 as I previously said. Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Get the blood electrolytes checked

Detailed Answer:
I understand that the technical term confuses you. You would possibly have found it ok if I had referred to it as myoclonus. It is the same thing and need not be jerky. Lasting for 5 seconds is practically the same thing. No need to worry

However, I would insist you to get her blood electrolytes checked, just to be sure.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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