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


There’s plenty of on-the-job studying once you’re a guardian of a toddler. (Or, in my case, two toddlers!)

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

However, as I lately discovered, you additionally turn into 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 youngsters have been fortunately enjoying, 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 beginning, my daughter has performed what we confer with as a “silent cry.” Mainly, when she will get extraordinarily upset, she’ll begin to cry and no sound will come out for a pair 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 enjoying with my older daughter, and, for some purpose (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 select her up and luxury her, solely to note that not solely was she nonetheless doing the silent cry, but additionally that her lips had turned blue. Actually, the following second her entire face was blue. One other second later, she had fainted and was limp in my arms.

Not realizing 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 thing took about 30 seconds, if that.

It was insane. And, scary AF.

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

And, now you higher imagine I do know lots about them! Listed below are a couple of of crucial issues I’ve discovered about breath holding spells.

1. They will appear to be seizures, however they’re not. Learn extra on them right here and discuss to your baby’s physician, however breath holding spells can look lots like a seizure, however they’re really an involuntary response to a sudden occasion that modifications their respiratory sample, coronary heart fee, and blood stress ranges, which makes them faint.

2. They’re very scary within the second, however they don’t damage your baby. Count on in extraordinarily uncommon circumstances, after they faint their physique takes over and so they begin respiratory mechanically.

3. They don’t imply to do it. Once more, it’s an involuntary response to one thing that upsets them like having one thing taken away, being annoyed, being instructed they will’t do one thing, and so forth.

4. They’re not unusual. They occur in wholesome children. Some children have them solely every year; others extra typically (even a number of instances a day).

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

6. Establish 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. However, it’s additionally useful to concentrate to conditions when your kiddo is most probably to turn into upset — AKA, after they’re hungry, drained, or just need to do one thing they will’t do (for us, ours needs to observe the Disney Quick “Lava” a LOT — and when she will be able to’t … bear in mind!).

5. Have methods in place. Remind them to breathe — and provides them prompts like blowing bubbles or blowing out birthday candles. In the event that they don’t reply to that, blow of their face. Typically this could shake them out of it. In the event that they do faint, ensure that the realm is evident, have your telephone available, and lie them on their facet to maximise blood circulation. 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 the way to do CPR on a bit one, 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 every part else out. Your pediatrician ought to discuss to you about different potential underlying circumstances like a household historical past of seizures, cardiac points, and so forth. Make sure that to get every part checked out, simply in case.

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

Learn extra about breath holding spells on WebMD right here.

I’m sharing this with a purpose 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 really fairly benign might be so traumatizing should you don’t know what it’s. In case your kiddo has performed 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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