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how to prevent nightmares or night terrors

Try to help your child return to normal sleep. Do not try to awaken your child. Make soothing comments. Hold your child if it seems to help him or her feel better. Shaking or shouting at your child may cause the child to become more upset.

Protect your child against injury. During a night terror, a child can fall down a stairway, run into a wall, or break a window. Try to gently direct your child back to bed.

Prepare babysitters for these episodes. Explain to people who care for your child what a night terror is and what to do if one happens.

Try to prevent night terrors. A night terror can be triggered if your child becomes overly-tired. Be sure your child goes to bed at a regular time, and early enough to give him or her enough sleep. Younger children may need to return to a daily nap.