Chasing Away Nightmares

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Nothing compares to the feeling of panic parents feel when jolted out of a deep sleep in the dead of night by their child's screams. A bad dream can be provoked by a life-changing experience, such as the death of a family member, or something as minor as a dog barking.

If your child appears to be asleep and cries out or appears to be struggling in his sleep, then pediatricians recommend waking him immediately in order to end the nightmare. However, if you see that your child is sitting up in bed, seemingly wide-awake but unresponsive, then he may be experiencing night terrors. Trying to rouse the child will not be effective, and it may scare the child further. Simply stand by and keep the child safe, physically, ensuring that he doesn't bump his head or hurt himself during the episode. Night terrors are disconcerting but don't usually last long, nor do children remember them happening in the morning. If your child has nightmares on a regular basis, then it's time to examine why.