Night Terrors in Children
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Night Terrors in Children

Night terrors are different from nightmares. Night terrors are associated with uncontrollable crying episodes, and intense fear. Night terror are upsetting to the family, children can start having night terrors from age 3-12 years.

Night terrors are different from nightmares. Night terrors are associated with uncontrollable crying episodes, and intense fear. Night terror are upsetting to the family, children can start having night terrors from age 3-12 years.

Night terror equally effect girls and boys, there is no preference over race. Night terrors are usually over by the time a child reaches adolescence.

Causes of night terrors

Here are some reasons for night terrors:

• Life events that cause stress

• Fever

• Deprivation of sleep.

• Medications

Symptoms of night terrors

Recurring episodes of terror, fear, crying, and hard to awake from sleep. Other symptoms may include:

• Increased heart rate,

• Increased breathing rate

• Heavy sweating

You can recall a nightmare, but most children don’t remember having a night terror the next morning. If the child wakes up momentarily he will only remember small amounts of information.

What you can do at home to take care of a child with a night terror

A night terror episode begins 90 minutes into falling to sleep with the child sitting up, and screaming, he seems alert, and walks about confused and disoriented, the child doesn’t respond to his parent’s voice, or stimuli around him. No amount of comfort seems to help. The child may toss, and turn, or even run up and down the hallways seemingly awake.

These episodes of night terror usually last about 1-2 minutes, but can last longer before the child finally relaxes, and feels better.

What you can do at home to take care of a child with a night terror

• Make sure there is nothing the child can injure himself on during these episodes.

• Find sources of sleep disruption

• Be consistent with bedtime and wake-up routines.

Seeking medical care

It is common for children to have disrupted sleep patterns, especially during their first year of life. Children younger than 3 ½ may have one episode a week while older children may have one-two episodes a month.

A child psychologist can evaluate your child, and exclude the possibility of other sleep disorders than could be causing problems with your child sleeping at night. Medications are rarely given, and only for severe conditions, because they don’t help for long term help for the child. Doctors primarily educate the parents making sure they know about night terror disorder, and how to handle it.

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Comments (2)

I like how clear and concise you wrote out the information. I don't have much time, so I like an easy-to-read READ!!!

Nice one Beth! - I have voted you up. You may be interested in the fact that an ingredient in some cough syrups (hydroconone) can be directly linked to night terrors: http://factoidz.com/the-sensation-of-flying-and-falling-and-the-hidden-dangers-of-a-cough-syrup-link/

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