October 21, 2009

A 5-year-old St. Charles boy is safe at home after apparently sleepwalking to his elementary school in the middle of the night.

Kane County deputies were called to Anderson Elementary School, at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. They found a 5-year-old boy unharmed but a bit dazed, according to Kane County Lt. Pat Gengler. He lived a few blocks away from the school and had apparently wandered away from home.

The boy told officers that he was there to watch a movie with his mother. Apparently, his mother had told him on Saturday about a movie night, Gengler said.

Even after police had found the boy, they had another problem: They couldn't identify him because he had trouble remembering his address.

Deputies took the boy to Delnor Hospital in Geneva. The School District sent an employee to the hospital and they were able to identify the boy and where he lived.

The boy was returned home to his surprised parents, who were still sleeping.

"This is just kind of one of those way-out-there things," Gengler said. "We're lucky and we're happy it turned out this way. If it was December of January, it could have been a sad ending."

Sleepwalking is more common in children than adults. It often involves more than just walking, although the sleepwalker rarely remembers what happened. About 15 percent of children will sleepwalk between 4-12 years of age
If you or someone you know has a sleepwalking problem, please see sleep-walking prevention.