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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18656
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My 20 month old has been self settled to sleep and slept through

Customer Question

My 20 month old has been self settled to sleep and slept through the night since forever. Suddenly as of this week he has panic and screamed him self blue going to bed and wakes up every night and screams for 3 hours straight regardless of what i do. PLEASE advice me what to do. teething/ill/phase/what??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. There are several issues to consider in this situation. There is a condition called night terrors, also called sleep terrors, in which someone wakes suddenly during the night in panic. This is more common in children than in adults, occurring in about 1-6% of children in various studies. While we can see night terrors in children down to one year of age, we usually see more of this as the child gets past 3 years of age. In a 20 month old, since it is less common, it would be appropriate to consider other possible causes of these symptoms. To complete this topic, though, this is a condition that is benign and usually resolves spontaneously. Since the night terrors are less common at 20 months of age, the other major concern is that this represents an illness. There are many possible illnesses that may cause a child to wake in the middle of the night. Acute illnesses that can cause pain would be the greatest concern and should be excluded, and the most common would be an ear infection or a general viral infection, such as can cause muscle aches. There also are certain conditions that tend to get worse at night, such as acid reflux, that should be considered. It is reasonable to have tried medicines to help ease pain, such as the Calpol, and if you had not already tried this, it is a reasonable step before seeing your doctor. However, since you have already tried a medicine for pain and it did not help, the usual next step would be to see your doctor, who will do a general exam to look for any illness that si causing this. If the evaluation is normal, then that would support that it is due to night terrors. If I can provide any additional information please let me know.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance. If you would like my assistance with any future questions, I can be reached through my profile at www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-DrDLove/