Essential tremor in children

Essential tremor is often thought of as an adult-onset condition. However, it can start in early childhood affecting about 5% of children. Mainly involving the hands and there is often a family history of tremor. There are two kinds of hand tremor which are: kinetic tremor only (i.e. tremor present only when the hands are moving) and postural tremor only (i.e. tremor is visible when the hands are held outstretched) with some children experiencing both.  

The hand tremor leads to difficulty with:

  • Holding a hot drink
  • Drinking from a cup
  • Using a spoon
  • Writing
  • Typing
  • Drawing
  • Using tweezers
  • Painting nails
  • Playing a musical instrument


Very little is known about the treatment of ET in childhood but it is helpful to be open about the condition, to discuss it and to have a common sense open approach. Children will often cope better than adults until school age when often a variety of problems such as writing, school meal times and comments from peers, may cause anxiety and embarrassment.

Get in touch

The NTF would like to feature some children's/young people’s stories and how you cope with living with tremor. We would like to know about the challenges you face, what help you receive, how supportive your peers are and to provide advice to other young people and their parents.

We are really keen to make people aware that young people can have tremor too. If you would like to help the NTF to raise awareness about tremor, please contact us for more information.

Parents of Children with ET Facebook Group

The NTF Parents of Children with Essential Tremor Facebook Group allows parents to network, share experiences and tips for children living with essential tremor.


Contact our Children Liaison Officer

If you are young person or an adult, and want to talk to us for support and advice, contact our Children Liaison Officer, Kitty Reilly on

The latest news from NTF