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My 6 yr old niece is on diazapam to get her to sleep?

(20 Posts)
pepsi Sun 24-Jul-05 19:12:35

My niece has never really gone to bed early, which may be a parenting choice. I remember before she started reception we used to say "oh wait until she starts school, that will wear her out. She can stay awake until very late, but isnt kept in her room, she comes downstairs and is allowed to stay their for a bit. A year or so ago she thought there were monsters in her room and was scared still. Now she cant get to sleep in her own bed but immediately goes to sleep if in her Mum and Dads bed. If they move her once asleep she crawls back in with them as soon as she wakes up. Recently she watched Dr Who...didnt see it myself but it was the gas mask one and it has really scared her and made her even worse. They have tried phenegan and now diazapam which although calms her down and gets her to sleep doesnt keep her asleep through the night. She always wakes up at some point for the loo. I have suggested limiting her drinks to try and sort this one out and suggested that the first hurdle might just be getting her to sleep in her own room by herself. Her Dad works shifts so I think the routine changes often and when he works nights she often sleeps with Mum so she knows she can iyswim. She is a lovely little girl but you can see sometimes that she is really tired. I think her Mum is a bit lost as to how really to get it sorted. The doctor gave them diazpam last week so they are trying that. Is it a good idea to use this stuff?

Tipex Sun 24-Jul-05 21:06:25

ooh pepsi I'd certainly be a bit wary. Diazepam is actually a short ived sedative so no way would it get her thru the night, merely dozy to get off to sleep. All the benzodiazpams are also highly addictive and should only be used for short term use in special circumstances. Did a specialist give her this or her GP?
I'd agree with you that she and her parets need support for some sleep solutions in terms of behaviour not drugs. What do her folks think?

singsong Sun 24-Jul-05 22:06:59

I don’t think drugs are the answer for this problem. As Tipex said she could become dependant on them and that would be creating a new problem. Is there a sleep clinic in the area they could go to? Sounds as if it will take some behaviour modifying techniques to sort this out long term.

dinny Sun 24-Jul-05 22:09:10

a 6 yo on Valium?! Unbelievable.

expatinscotland Sun 24-Jul-05 22:10:37

I took Diazepam to get to sleep as I had panic attacks and found just lying down would make me very anxious. But I would wake during the night.

meggymoo Sun 24-Jul-05 22:11:09

Message withdrawn

pepsi Mon 25-Jul-05 09:11:24

From what I can see there has never been a sleep routine in their household. ie. if she goes to bed she can create enough to come downstairs. Its not unusual for her to see the evictee of Big Brother coming down the steps on a Friday night. Could all of her sleep problems be purely a sympton of how she has been taught to sleep by her parents or do some children really have problems with staying asleep. Unfortunately her Mum is not very good at sticking to a routine. A routine generally lasts for 2-3 days. ie. First night of diazapan she gave the medicine at about 5.00, the next night we went for tea so she gave it later so she wouldnt be too dozy whilst we were still there, 6.00. When I spoke to her yesterday she didnt give Saturday evenings dose until 7.45. I dont want to come across as being the perfect Mum by giving too much advice but equally I worry about a child being given such a drug. Her GP gave her the stuff but she told him they had tried absolutely everything. I think they may try everthing but not for long enough. I would imagine this could take a couple of weeks and lots of lost sleep on her side. Its a tough one. As this drug doesnt seem to be working yet what would a doctor do next?

gigglinggoblin Mon 25-Jul-05 09:20:21

silly question - have they been to hv? mine was always much better at kiddie stuff than the doctor (who was totally unaware we had a sleep clinic in our area).

doesnt sound to me like she needs drugs (am quite horrified the dr gave them out tbh), just needs some routine. it is hard, especially for the first week but will probably give longer lasting results. could mum sleep in her room until she starts sleeping through, that way she knows mum is there but she is getting used to her own bed. lots of people struggle to sleep in a strange bed and it sounds like thats what her bed is to her

you could always get a book out of the library and tell them you just happened to be in there and it caught your eye so thought they might like to read it. i got a brilliant one which i think was published by practical parenting magazine, but there are lots of others out there

pepsi Mon 25-Jul-05 09:25:06

I know she went to the HV after the doctor who programme. She recommened getting her to draw pictures of how she was feeling and her dreams etc. Like I say she says she has tried everything, but I dont think she tries it for long enough hence no long lasting results. Im really stuck as to what to say to her now. They are off on holiday soon for a week so I was thinking of saying have the holiday, enjoy yourselves and then worry about it all when you get back and really work at it this time.

gigglinggoblin Mon 25-Jul-05 09:31:13

thing is if her parents dont want to stick to a routine there is no chance its going to work. sometimes things can work out in less than a week but just 10 mins with a hysterical child can seem like an eternity, and if mum is on her own cos dad is at work then its going to be really hard. would definately get them a book to reinforce what you are saying and to give a few tips. they all have my sympathy, sleep deprivation is no fun

pepsi Mon 25-Jul-05 20:41:53

Thats the point really, is a child being put on medication and being "blamed" for the problem or should the "blame" be laid at the parents feet. Is it unusual for a child to be prescribed this drug. Would be intersted to hear from anyone else who has had to use it for their child.

Papillon Mon 25-Jul-05 20:52:38

Is the doctor exploring non-drug type assistance? Is there any way that the doctor could organise some sort of long term therapy for the child? I am amazed he can prescribe a sleep drug to a little girl of her age.

It does sound like the parents need to provide more consistency at night time and not let her watch adult programmes.

This must be very hard for you to experience.

WigWamBam Mon 25-Jul-05 20:55:39

Sleep training and a routine might be a better answer than Diazepam. I'm shocked that the GP would prescribe it, but I'm even more shocked that her parents would consider giving it to her.

Do they actually know that Diazepam is (a) Valium and (b) addictive?

pepsi Tue 26-Jul-05 09:34:07

I didnt know myself it was valium. My feeling is that they may be thinking its the easy option and its just what people do. I shall try and put her off using it as best I can. I suggested she watch one of these Little Angel or House of Tiny Tearaway programmes but so far I dont think she has (this was about a year ago). They all have the same message regarding sleep.

aloha Tue 26-Jul-05 09:39:26

I am absolutely horrified that a healthy six year old is being put on Diazepam. Really shocked. Is this for real?

morningpaper Tue 26-Jul-05 09:43:31

I agree - having spent a very distressing period of my life coming off Valium, I'd be horrified by the thought of a child taking it. It's incredibly addictive and does nothing for long-term benefit. I'd be tempted to investigate with the PCT - I can't believe this is permittable.

morningpaper Tue 26-Jul-05 09:46:32

Just looked it up ... it can be prescribed short-term for children with night-terrors or sleep walking, or seizures.

pepsi Wed 27-Jul-05 14:15:10

Spoke to SIL today and she is stopping using it...mainly because its not keeping her asleep. The Doctor must have had the impression that her sleep problem was pretty serious for him to give this drug. He can only go on what he is told by the parent though, she can make things sound a lot worse than they are in reality and I think this is probably the case here. I dont think any amount of help from an outside source is really going to make a difference. To me the only way to resolve this is to set up a calm routine and stick to it, go through the torturous first week and be strong. This I know will never happen.

morningpaper Wed 27-Jul-05 17:09:41

I would agree with your Pepsi.

morningpaper Wed 27-Jul-05 17:10:00

your = you

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