Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Juan | 2009-08-20


re post 1702 - tantrums

Hi Doc,

I understand what you are saying in your response but i have a different problem.

When my son(18 months) has tantrums, he either runs and bangs his head against the first thing, usually a wall, or he falls to the ground and bangs his head. Most of this is caused out of pure frustration. Many a day he has big bumps on his head and bruises. This makes it difficult for us to just stand up and walk away as we don' t want him hurting himself, and usually quickly grab him and pick him up so he cannot bump his head. I must tell you that we at least don' t give in to what he wants.

I have read up about this specifically on DRGREEN.COM, he he says that this is perfectly normal and the child will never bang is head too hard so as to hurt himself.

Can you please comment on this topic as well as give me some ideas on how to address this.



Expert's Reply



Head banging is usually an attention seeking measure. It is very concerning to parents. You nobviously do need to give as much attention as possible to your son but there is a limit to what you can do when he starts with a tantrum. As long as you stay with him when he is performing the more he will continue.See that he is in a room where he cannot hurt himself and the floor is carpeted.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Gavin | 2009-09-26

You call yourself an expert? I am 24 and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and social anxiety disorder 5months ago. I am on 2 antidepressants - efexor and wellbutrin. Have been in therapy for the past 4 months.

Memories came up of how I always hit my head against walls, and with my fists as a child (from about the age of 3-9years old). I even remember breaking a window with my head. There was also the constant nose bleeding, which continued throughout highschool.

I asked my mother about the head-banging, if she remembered it. Her response was " yes, it happend a couple of times a week" . I asked her what she did about it. Her reply was she tried to stop me, but eventually gave up as she heard it was attention seeking.

" Attention seeking"  is an old wives tale! I cannot believe that a so called expert would even think to mention it.

And to the parent of the child (Juan): PLEASE take your child to a childrens psychologist or therapist, even to a doctor who can refer you to one.

My mother couldnt face the " embarrassmen"  of going to a doctor and saying " my child has a problem"  . Look where I am at today because of it. Sure, the childs head banging will eventually stop, but at the cost of how much damage?

Im a student, will be doing my Honours in Architecture next year and am simultaneously working, as i have been doing ever since highschool, I am an orphan, because I refuse to call the people who raised me, ' my parents' . They failed miserably. Juan, I beg you, please dont make the same mistake with your child

I will bet my life that the " expert"  never banged their head as a child! And dont even think of telling me that a child wont damage themselves by hitting their head against a wall or with their fists. As an expert you would know how soft a childs skull is, try banging your own head against walls on a regular basis and see what happens to yourself.


Who is the Paediatrician?

Prof Eugene Weinberg retired from the Red Cross Children' s Hospital in January 2004 after almost 40 years of service. He was head of the Allergy and Asthma Clinic at the Children' s Hospital and was a Principal Paediatrician in the Department of Paediatrics at the hospital and also attached to the University of Cape Town. THIS MAN SHOULD HAVE HIS DOCTORS LICENSE TAKEN AWAY!!!

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