Essential Tremor in Children

Essential tremor (ET) is often thought of as an adult onset condition. However, it can start in early childhood affecting about 5% of children, predominantly 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.

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 log in below to post your comment.