Frequent question: Why does my child hold her breath?

Breath holding is common, especially in children aged six months to six years old. When your child holds their breath, it is often called a spell. Breath-holding spells can happen after your child has had a fright or a minor accident, or when they are scolded, frustrated or very upset.

Are breath holding spells normal?

Also called breath-holding attacks, these spells are somewhat common and can happen in healthy children. They can look like seizures, but they’re not. The spells don’t hurt the children, and many outgrow them by age 6 or 7. They are most common in 2-year-olds.

How common are breath holding spells?

Up to 5% of children experience breath-holding spells. They can occur as early as 6 months and may continue until a child is 6 years old. The peak age for breath-holding spell is 2 years. Breath-holding spells are a reflex, that is the body’s automatic response to distress.

Can breath holding spells cause brain damage?

Breath-holding spells are not dangerous. They do not lead to epilepsy or brain damage. Breath-holding spells usually begin when children are between 6 months and 2 years old. Children usually outgrow them by age 5 or 6.

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Why does my child keep gasping for air?

Some children get mild shortness of breath when they exercise. Trouble breathing also can be a symptom of a serious problem, such as asthma, lung disease, heart problems, and pneumonia. If your child’s shortness of breath continues, he or she may need tests and treatment.

Are breath holding spells seizures?

No. Children with breath-holding spells do not have epilepsy. As breath-holding spells may look like epileptic seizures, the 2 are often confused. Breath-holding spells happen after your child has been frustrated, startled or hurt.

How do you stop holding a breath spell?

Don’t Give In After the Spell:

Some breath-holding spells start with a temper tantrum. Example: your child wanted something and you said “No.” Don’t give in to your child before or after the attack. After spells, give your child a brief hug and go about your normal routine.

Can Breath Holding Spells be fatal?

A breath holding spell is when a child holds their breath, usually after being angry, frustrated, startled, or in pain. Sometimes the breath holding leads to the child passing out. It can be frightening to watch a breath-holding spell, but they aren’t harmful and usually last less than a minute.

What is holding breath syndrome?

A breath-holding spell is an episode in which the child involuntarily stops breathing and loses consciousness for a short period immediately after a frightening or emotionally upsetting event or a painful experience. Breath-holding spells usually are triggered by physically painful or emotionally upsetting events.

What happens after a breath-holding spell?

A breath-holding spell may cause: Fainting. It usually lasts for less than a minute. Twitching muscles, a stiff body, or a seizure.

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What causes blue spells in babies?

Cyanosis, or blue spells, is when a reduced amount of blood flows into the lungs. Since blood carries oxygen, less oxygen is delivered to the body. As a result, a child may appear blue or bluish. The colour is caused by high levels of reduced (deoxygenated) hemoglobin in the blood near the surface of the skin.

What causes breath holding spells in adults?

Breath holding spells have been reported to present to medical attention as an ALTE. These are typically divided into two types: cyanotic and pallid. In cyanotic breath holding spells, there is usually an emotional trigger such as anger or frustration.

What is floppy larynx?

What Is Laryngomalacia? Laryngomalacia is a common cause of noisy breathing in infants. It happens when a baby’s larynx (or voice box) is soft and floppy. When the baby takes a breath, the part of the larynx above the vocal cords falls in and temporarily blocks the baby’s airway.

What is laryngomalacia?

Laryngomalacia is a congenital softening of the tissues of the larynx (voice box) above the vocal cords. This is the most common cause of noisy breathing in infancy. The laryngeal structure is malformed and floppy, causing the tissues to fall over the airway opening and partially block it.

Can laryngomalacia be fatal?

While many children do outgrow laryngomalacia, others require surgery, and that is often done before a child’s first birthday. Apnea and cyanosis can be life-threatening, so don’t hesitate to call 911 if your child is ever in distress.