What does it mean when a child holds their 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.
How do you deal with a breath-holding spell?
What should I do during my child’s breath-holding spell?
- don’t panic.
- lie your child on their side and watch them.
- don’t shake your child, put anything into their mouth, or splash them with water.
- keep your child away from anything hard or sharp.
- allow the spell to stop by itself.
How do you stop holding your breath?
Preventing Breath-Holding Spells in Children
- Have regular daily routines for your child.
- Keep your home atmosphere calm.
- Allow your child to make some simple choices, such as which shirt to wear.
- Praise your child for behaving appropriately and meeting your expectations.
How common is 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 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.
Are breath holding spells hereditary?
Breath-holding spells are more common in children with: Genetic conditions, such as Riley-Day syndrome or Rett syndrome. Iron deficiency anemia. A family history of breath-holding spells (parents may have had similar spells when they were children)
When do kids stop holding their breath?
Although breath-holding can be scary for parents, it’s usually harmless and your child should grow out of it by the age of 4 or 5.
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.
Is it normal for toddlers to hold their breath while sleeping?
Pauses in breathing can be quite normal in infants and children, especially when they are in dream (Rapid Eye Movement, or REM) sleep. Children and infants have more of that dreaming stage of sleep than adults, so the chances of catching them having pauses or irregular breathing are high.