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Injured Parent Can Mean Sleepless Nights for Kids

By Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Children face an increased risk for sleep problems if a parent suffers a serious injury, especially if the parent has a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study reveals.

Researchers used U.S. Military Health System records to identify more than 485,000 children of more than 272,000 parents who were seriously injured in combat or daily life.

Common injuries among the parents were brain or battle injuries. The children in the study were up to 18 years old, with an average age of 7 years.

Overall, children were 17 percent more likely to have outpatient care for sleep disorders after a parent was injured. Teens had a 37 percent increase in visits to a sleep specialist after a parent's injury.

Many teens already have sleep issues due to changing body clocks prompted by puberty and the challenges of high school, noted study author Dr. Saira Ahmed, a pediatrics resident at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Children of parents with both a brain injury and PTSD had a 48 percent increase in visits to a sleep specialist, according to the study. It's scheduled for presentation this Sunday at the American Academy of Pediatrics national conference, in Orlando, Fla.

When a parent suffers a serious injury, it can alter a child's daily routine and the child may witness their parent's pain and recovery, Ahmed said in a meeting news release.

"It is imperative that medical providers discuss their children's sleep with parents and consider sleep in the care plan of children of injured parents," she said.

Until it's published in a peer-reviewed journal, research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary.

More information

BrainLine offers advice on helping children cope with a head injury to a family member.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, Nov. 2, 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=738977

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
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