My Toddler Had a Breath Holding Spell and It Was Scary AF


There’s a lot of on-the-job studying if you’re a dad or mum of a toddler. (Or, in my case, two toddlers!)

Over time you discover ways to discover the proper sippy cup, purchase garments they’ll truly put on, coerce them to go away the home on time, diffuse tantrums —  , regular on a regular basis stuff.

But, as I not too long ago realized, you additionally grow to be an professional in sure areas you DID NOT SEE COMING.

Take, for instance, a typical Wednesday night with household. We had my dad and mom over for dinner, all the children have been fortunately taking part in, and out of nowhere one in all my twin daughters had a breath holding spell (which, I knew nothing about and had by no means even heard of), and it freaked us all out.

Since start, my daughter has carried out what we seek advice from as a “silent cry.” Basically, when she will get extraordinarily upset, she’ll begin to cry and no sound will come out for a couple seconds. And, then, she lets that cry rip. It’s one thing we’re used to along with her — and any time she does it, we all know that she’s not simply kinda upset; she’s SUPER upset.

So, on this night, she was taking part in with my older daughter, and, for some cause (we’re nonetheless not precisely positive what set her off different than simply being a toddler), she started the silent cry. I used to be standing proper subsequent to her, so I reached down to choose her up and consolation her, solely to note that not solely was she nonetheless doing the silent cry, but additionally that her lips had turned blue. Literally, the subsequent second her entire face was blue. Another second later, she had fainted and was limp in my arms.

Not understanding that breath holding was a factor, I used to be instantly afraid that she was choking or having a seizure. My dad and mom have been actually grabbing their telephones to dial 911 as my husband whacked her on her again, and I swept her mouth and throat for any meals. From that, she began coughing and crying. The entire factor took about 30 seconds, if that.

It was insane. And, scary AF.

She fairly rapidly returned to appearing regular, so we ended up not calling 911, and as a substitute instantly took her to pressing care the place her pediatrician identified it as a breath holding spell, which is THANKFULLY a pretty benign factor, however one thing I had by no means heard of earlier than. (Note: in case your baby does this — particularly the primary time — DEFINITELY go see their pediatrician and have the whole lot checked out ASAP.)

And, now you higher imagine I do know a lot about them! Here are a few of an important issues I’ve realized about breath holding spells.

1. They can appear like seizures, however they’re not. Read extra on them right here and speak to your baby’s physician, however breath holding spells can look a lot like a seizure, however they’re truly an involuntary response to a sudden occasion that adjustments their respiratory sample, coronary heart charge, and blood stress ranges, which makes them faint.

2. They are very scary within the second, however they don’t damage your baby. Expect in extraordinarily uncommon instances, after they faint their physique takes over and they begin respiratory mechanically.

3. They don’t imply to do it. Again, it’s an involuntary response to one thing that upsets them like having one thing taken away, being pissed off, being informed they’ll’t do one thing, and so on.

4. They’re not unusual. They occur in wholesome youngsters. Some youngsters have them solely as soon as a 12 months; others extra typically (even a number of occasions a day).

5. Breath holding expertise are commonest in 2-year-olds. So, commonest in toddlers, who’re essentially the most vulnerable to getting upset over random issues.

6. Identify your baby’s indicators and triggers. For us, we all know that when our daughter begins to “silent cry,” that we have to remind her to breathe and watch her very intently. But, it’s additionally useful to concentrate to conditions when your kiddo is probably to grow to be upset — AKA, after they’re hungry, drained, or just need to do one thing they’ll’t do (for us, ours needs to observe the Disney Short “Lava” a LOT — and when she will’t … bear in mind!).

5. Have methods in place. Remind them to breathe — and give them prompts like blowing bubbles or blowing out birthday candles. If they don’t reply to that, blow of their face. Sometimes this may shake them out of it. If they do faint, be sure the realm is obvious, have your cellphone readily available, and lie them on their aspect to maximise blood stream. If a breath holding spell lasts greater than a minute, name 911. If it lasts greater than three minutes, begin CPR. (And, should you don’t know how you can do CPR on a toddler, get CPR licensed.)

6. Inform your caregivers ASAP. Describe the incident in writing, together with any related particulars for care together with what triggered the spell, how they acted, and what caregivers ought to do.

7. Rule the whole lot else out. Your pediatrician ought to speak to you about different attainable underlying situations like a household historical past of seizures, cardiac points, and so on. Make positive to get the whole lot checked out, simply in case.

8. Kids outgrow them. This is the perfect information of all! By the ages of 6 or 7, most youngsters develop out of breath holding spells. Whew!

Read extra about breath holding spells on WebMD right here.

I’m sharing this to be able to assist another dad and mom who’ve a baby who does this — and, I’m additionally seeking to hear your experiences with it. That first time is SO scary, and it’s loopy to suppose that one thing that’s truly fairly benign could be so traumatizing should you don’t know what it’s. If your kiddo has carried out this, how typically have they got spells? When did they develop out of it? Would love to listen to the way it has affected you and your loved ones! –Jenn



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