Head banging can be confused with typical temper tantrums, spasmus nutans triad of pendular nystagmus, head nodding, and torticollis , and infantile myoclonic seizures sudden dropping of the head and flexion of the arms. Next Article: Number of restless leg movements during sleep may predict AFib progression. Psychotropic medication is not recommended. Most children who head bang—rhythmic movement of the head against a solid object, marked by compulsive repetitiveness 1 —usually are normal, healthy, well-cared-for children, in whom no cause for this activity can be determined. Related Articles Evidence-Based Reviews Self-mutilation: Impulsive traits, high pain threshold suggest new drug therapies Author: Timothy Fong, MD Pathologic self-mutilation is easy to recognize but difficult to understand and treat. She has seizure-like episodes but EEG and other tests do not find a cause. The child will repeatedly bang his head—usually the frontal-parietal region—against a pillow, headboard, or railing of a crib 60 to 80 times per minute. Head banging: Cause for worry, or normal childhood development? Pathologic self-mutilation is easy to recognize but difficult to understand and treat.
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