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

There’s numerous on-the-job studying if 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 go away the home on time, diffuse tantrums —  you realize, regular on a regular basis stuff.

However, as I not too long ago realized, you additionally change into an knowledgeable 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 youngsters have been fortunately taking part in, and out of nowhere one among 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 accomplished what we check 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 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 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 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 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 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. (Observe: in case your little one does this — particularly the primary time — DEFINITELY go see their pediatrician and have all the things checked out ASAP.)

And, now you higher consider I do know rather a lot about them! Listed below are a couple of 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 little one’s physician, however breath holding spells can look rather a lot like a seizure, however they’re really 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’re very scary within the second, however they don’t damage your little one. Anticipate in extraordinarily uncommon instances, once they faint their physique takes over they usually 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 many others.

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

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

6. Determine your little one’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 more than likely to change into upset — AKA, once they’re hungry, drained, or just wish to do one thing they will’t do (for us, ours needs to observe the Disney Brief “Lava” a LOT — and when she will’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. Typically this will shake them out of it. In the event that they do faint, ensure that the world is obvious, have your cellphone readily available, and lie them on their aspect 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 the way to do CPR on just a little 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 all the things else out. Your pediatrician ought to speak to you about different attainable underlying circumstances like a household historical past of seizures, cardiac points, and many others. Be certain to get all the things 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 here.

I’m sharing this with the intention to assist every other mother and father who’ve a toddler who does this — and, I’m additionally trying 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 might be so traumatizing in case you don’t know what it’s. In case your kiddo has accomplished 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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