What is head-banging?

Head-banging is when a child knocks their head on a solid object (e.g. a wall, floors or bars of a cot). They may also rock their whole upper body at the same time. It may happen when they are tired, during a temper tantrum or they may do it for comfort.

How common is it?

Head-banging is very common in children under 3 years of age. It is thought that up to 20% of healthy children head nbang during the first three years of life. It is a normal developmental process. It usually begins towards the end of the first year and peaks between 18 to 24 months, easing off by the time they are four years of age.

Is it harmful?

Children do not tend to engage in this habit to injure themselves. It is unlikely they will bang their heads hard enough to cause pain or injury and there is no evidence to suggest head-banging effects children's development. It can look and sound violent and harmful, however, many experts suggest that head-banging provides children with a sensation similar to a sensation they experienced in the uterus (when they are constantly rocked and jolted).

Southend Health Visiting Team

Telephone: 01702 534911