Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Twitching when awakened

Question: My daughter is 4 yrs old and I have a son who is 7 months and whenever they are awaken or startled they kind of shake, not like ceisures just mild shaking. What does this mean. I get scared when they do that. Please let me know what you think.

Answer: Both you 4 year old and 7 month old are still in the process of developing their nervous system. What you are describing sounds like mild twitches which can occur when falling into a deep sleep or coming out of one. It happens in children as well as adults.

You mentioned "not like seizures." Seizures are different from what you are describing. They are more dramatic and don't usually occur at the routine times you are describing.

As a parent, anything out of the ordinary can be scary! If there is a history of seizures in the family or if you have any concerns, keep a diary and discuss it with your children's doctor. Any information you have for him or her will be very helpful.

Dr. Betti

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  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.