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(HealthDay News) -- A child's fear can interfere with sleep, but parents can offer soothing words of calm and reassurance.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests how to help a child deal with fears at bedtime:
Listen to your child and understand what's behind the fear. Do this during the day.
Don't tease or dismiss a child's worries, no matter how unrealistic.
Reassure the child that he or she is safe. Offer plenty of positive thoughts.
Make a game out of being in the dark, such as flashlight tag.
Creatively encourage your child's imagination to battle fears. For example, use a "monster spray" to get rid of monsters.
Allow your child to have a security object at bedtime.
Allow a pet to sleep with the child.
Don't let your child watch scary TV shows or movies.
Deploy a nightlight.
Offer the child a reward for staying in bed all night.
Check on the child frequently.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.