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


There’s lots of on-the-job studying while 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 really put on, coerce them to depart the home on time, diffuse tantrums —  , regular on a regular basis stuff.

However, as I not too long ago realized, you additionally turn out to be an skilled in sure areas you DID NOT SEE COMING.

Take, for instance, a typical Wednesday night with household. We had my mother and father over for dinner, all the children have been fortunately taking part in, and out of nowhere considered one of 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 delivery, my daughter has achieved what we confer with as a “silent cry.” Principally, 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 taking part in with my older daughter, and, for some motive (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 following second her complete 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 mother and father 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 a substitute 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. (Be aware: in case your baby does this — particularly the primary time — DEFINITELY go see their pediatrician and have every thing checked out ASAP.)

And, now you higher consider I do know lots about them! Listed here are just a few of crucial issues I’ve realized about breath holding spells.

1. They will appear like seizures, however they’re not. Learn extra on them here and speak 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 adjustments their respiration sample, coronary heart charge, and blood strain 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 respiration routinely.

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 pissed off, being informed they’ll’t do one thing, and so on.

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

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

6. Determine 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 almost certainly 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 … remember!).

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. Generally this will shake them out of it. In the event that they do faint, be certain that the world is obvious, have your cellphone 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 easy methods to do CPR on a 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 thing else out. Your pediatrician ought to speak to you about different doable underlying situations like a household historical past of seizures, cardiac points, and so on. Be sure that to get every thing checked out, simply in case.

8. Children 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 here.

I’m sharing this in an effort to assist every other mother and father who’ve a toddler 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 really fairly benign may be so traumatizing should you don’t know what it’s. In case your kiddo has achieved 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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