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Sleepwalking in Children

Sleepwalking in Children

What is sleepwalking?

Sleepwalking is a disorder in which a child partly, but not completely, awakens during the night. The child may walk or do other things without any memory of doing so.

What are the symptoms of sleepwalking?

The child may sit up in bed and repeat certain movements, such as rubbing his or her eyes or fumbling with clothes. The child may get out of bed and walk around the room. The child may look dazed, and his or her movements and speech may be clumsy. When you talk to your child, he or she usually will not answer you.

What should I do if my child sleepwalks?

The most important thing you can do is prevent injury by removing dangerous objects from areas that your child might reach. You should keep doors and windows closed and locked. This is especially important if you live in an apartment. If necessary, your child may have to sleep on the ground floor of your home.

When you find your child sleepwalking, you should gently guide your child back to bed. You shouldn't yell or make a loud noise to wake your child up. You shouldn't shake your child. Finally, you should never make your child feel ashamed about sleepwalking.

Should I worry if my child sleepwalks?

No. Most children who sleepwalk don't have emotional problems.

How can sleepwalking be treated?

Usually, no specific treatments for sleepwalking are needed. Most children outgrow sleepwalking. If your child sleepwalks for a long time, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may want to look at the problem more closely. Some medicines can be used to treat sleepwalking. Your doctor may recommend you keep a "sleep diary" for your child to record the times when your child sleepwalks. Waking your child about 15 minutes before he or she usually sleepwalks can sometimes solve the problem. Talk to your family doctor before you being this method of treatment

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