quivering in infantsQn: My 1 year old grits her gum and quivers. It happens about 3 times a day or more. I noticed it since she was 6 months old. Any advice why she is doing it? Is it dangerous or life threatening?

Ans: Many infants experience a lot of involuntary movements/stereotypical behaviours during early part of their development. The description of spells associated with “gritting her gum with some quivers”, sounds like one of them. They are typically not particularly disturbed by these behaviours, respond to calls (i.e. no altered awareness) and carry on with their regular activities as if nothing has happened after the spells.

The common concern is whether these spells are seizures. If they are occurring frequently, it may be good to capture the spells with your video-camera/ handphone, and show it to your paediatricians. Your paediatricians may then refer to paediatric neurologist if there is strong suspicion of seizure disorder.

Dr Phuah Huan Kee
Paediatrician, Sub-specialty in Neurology
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic, Neurology Centre

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Neurology Centre
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Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510
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