What should I do if my child sleepwalks?

If you find your child sleepwalking, gently guide him or her back to bed. Do not awaken him or her. Attempting to block, grab, restrain, or wake a sleep walker may result in violence. Instead, just steer your child back to bed while offering calm, reassuring statements, such as "you are safe, you are in your own bed."
If your child sleepwalks, preventing injury is the most important thing you can do:

  • Keep dangerous objects out of your child’s reach.
  • Close and lock windows and doors as appropriate. Latches or bolts on outer doors may need to be installed beyond your child’s reach.
  • Consider installing heavy drapes to help prevent your child from climbing out a window.
  • If necessary, have your child sleep on the ground floor of your home so that he or she doesn’t fall down stairs.
  • Don’t let your child sleep in a bunk bed.
  • Remove sharp objects from around your child’s bed and eliminate clutter from floors.
  • Install safety gates outside your child’s room and at the top of stairs.
  • Keep car keys out of reach.
  • Remember gun safety.
  • Turn down the set-point on your water heater to prevent scalding.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/22/2020.

References

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