Child safety alert: Sleepwalking boy plunges to death off 6th floor of hotel

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The sad death of this boy is yet another incident that reminds us to never take our kids' safety for granted...

Does your child sleepwalk? If he does, you may want to be extra cautious about his safety after reading this.

The Straits Times reports that a 10-year-old Malaysian boy is believed to have fallen to his death off the sixth floor of a hotel in Thailand while sleepwalking.

The reports states "Fam Song Heng from Malacca, Malaysia, fell from the sixth floor of the Asia Grand Hotel at Chayakul Street in Hatyai City, Songkhla, at about 2.20am on Saturday (Dec 19)."

According to Police captain Kittitas Numuang, Fam -- who was found in the parking lot behind the building -- had sustained a fractured spine and head injuries.

The reports also says that "police believed Fam had sleepwalked before falling off the building."

The boy had reportedly been sleeping with his brother and grandmother in a room on the sixth floor, while his parents were in a room in the third floor of the hotel.

Fam's family were alerted to the horrifying news of the boy's death by hotel staff.

There is no more information about the exact circumstances behind Fam's death.

Sleepwalking in children

According to Healthline:

"Pediatric sleepwalking is when a child gets up during sleep but is unaware of their actions. It’s also known as somnambulism. Sleepwalking is most commonly seen in children between the ages of 4 and 8.

"Most children who sleepwalk do so an hour or two after falling asleep. Sleepwalking episodes usually last from five to 15 minutes. This behavior is typically harmless and most children grow out of it.

"But it can be dangerous if left unaddressed. It’s important to protect your child from injury as a result of sleepwalking."

Experts say that sleepwalking in kids can occur due numerous reasons, including fatigue, stress, irregular sleeping habits and being in an unfamiliar environment.

If you suspect or know that your child sleepwalks consult a doctor without delay. Usually no treatment is required, but "if another medical issue is causing your child’s sleepwalking, treatment is needed for the underlying issue."

If sleepwalking is becoming a bother, medical professionals may recommend a technique called "scheduled awakening."

This involves "monitoring your child for a few nights to determine when the sleepwalking usually occurs and then rousing your child from sleep 15 minutes before the expected sleepwalking," say experts.

What this does is reset your child's sleep cycle, which in turn, controls the sleepwalking behaviour.

For more on sleepwalking in kids, please refer to these websites:

Healthline

American Academy of Pediatrics

Singhealth

theAsianparent is deeply saddened at young Fam's death and our thoughts are with his family at this time.

At the same time, in the wake of the many unfortunate and preventable deaths of children we've been hearing of recently -- like the toddler who got stuck between the back of a sofa and the wall and died, or the three-month-old baby who died while her mother was getting drunk -- we'd like to ask parents to always keep a watchful eye on their children at all times

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