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


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

Over time you learn 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.

However, as I lately discovered, you additionally turn out 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 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 start, my daughter has achieved what we discuss 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 together 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 certain 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 in addition that her lips had turned blue. Actually, the subsequent second her complete face was blue. One other second later, she had fainted and was limp in my arms.

Not figuring out 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 rapidly 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 recognized 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. (Notice: in case your youngster does this — particularly the primary time — DEFINITELY go see their pediatrician and have every part checked out ASAP.)

And, now you higher consider I do know loads about them! Listed below are a number of of a very powerful issues I’ve discovered about breath holding spells.

1. They will seem like seizures, however they’re not. Learn extra on them here and discuss to your youngster’s physician, however breath holding spells can look loads like a seizure, however they’re truly an involuntary response to a sudden occasion that adjustments their respiration sample, coronary heart price, and blood stress ranges, which makes them faint.

2. They’re very scary within the second, however they don’t damage your youngster. Count on in extraordinarily uncommon circumstances, after they faint their physique takes over they usually begin respiration 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 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 yearly; others extra usually (even a number of instances a day).

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

6. Establish your youngster’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 carefully. However, it’s additionally useful to concentrate to conditions when your kiddo is most probably to turn out 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 look at the Disney Brief “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 may shake them out of it. In the event that they do faint, be sure that the world is evident, have your telephone readily available, and lie them on their facet to maximise blood move. If a breath holding spell lasts greater than a minute, name 911. If it lasts greater than three minutes, begin CPR. (And, in case you don’t know find out how to do CPR on a little bit one, get CPR certified.)

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 doable underlying circumstances like a household historical past of seizures, cardiac points, and so on. Be sure that to get every part checked out, simply in case.

8. Youngsters outgrow them. That is one of the best 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 here.

I’m sharing this with the intention to assist every other 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 assume that one thing that’s truly fairly benign might be so traumatizing in case you don’t know what it’s. In case your kiddo has achieved this, how usually 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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