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What to Do If Your Kid Is Battling Night Terrors

These terrifying screams will make your heart race. Here's how to cope.


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HAS YOUR CHILD EVER SCREAMED, flailed or shown intense fear while asleep? Night terrors (also known as sleep terrors) like these can last anywhere from seconds to a few very long minutes. Experts say they can happen if your child is stressed, running a fever or sleeping someplace unfamiliar.

Sleep terrors affect a small percentage of children, usually between ages 4 and 12, according to the Mayo Clinic. They aren’t usually a major cause for concern since most kids outgrow them by the time they’re teens, but they can still be scary. Call your pediatrician if your child isn’t getting enough sleep or is hurting herself while asleep. A doctor will likely recommend a sleep study to see what’s happening. Treatment may include pinpointing what’s causing her stress and practicing better bedtime habits.

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