Breath-holding is when a baby or child stops breathing for up to 1 minute and may faint. It can happen when a child is frightened, upset, angry, or has a sudden shock or pain. It’s usually harmless but can be scary for parents, particularly when it happens for the first time.
Why do babies hold their breath when crying?
Causes. Often, a breath-holding attack starts with crying in reaction to pain, fear, or anger. If your child has a cyanotic spell, they’re probably upset or frustrated about something. May be they got into trouble or wants something they can’t have.
Why do babies hold their breath until they pass out?
Breath-holding spells are brief periods when young children stop breathing for up to 1 minute. These spells often cause a child to pass out (lose consciousness). Breath-holding spells usually occur when a young child is angry, frustrated, in pain, or afraid. But the spell is a reflex.
Can a baby cry so hard they stop breathing?
Almost 5% of the pediatric population might demonstrate such episodes. Breath-holding spells are extremely frightening to parents. Episodes are described as infants crying, for up to a minute, and while crying excessively they will hold their breath to a point at which they might lose consciousness.
Can breath-holding spells cause brain damage?
The good news is that breath-holding spells usually go away after age 5. They won’t cause brain damage or other problems. And they don’t make your child more likely to have health problems later in life.
Can babies hyperventilating from crying?
Crying or distress
A brief increase above 60 breaths per minute due to distress or crying is safe, as long as the breathing rate returns to normal. If an infant’s breathing does not slow, or if they seem to be hyperventilating or having trouble breathing, there may be another problem.
How do you stop holding a breath spell?
Do not overreact to breath-holding spells. When your child is beginning a spell, suggest an alternative way of expressing feelings of frustration, anger, and fear, such as “Use your words.” After the spell, acknowledge your child’s behavior and feelings.
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 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.
How long can a baby hold its breath?
One is the “diving reflex,” also known as the bradycardic response; also exhibited by seals and other aquatic animals, the instinct may be a vestige of our ancient marine origins. It works like this: Infants up to 6 months old whose heads are submerged in water will naturally hold their breath.
Can breath-holding spells cause death?
Serious complications of breath holding spells are rare, but cases of sudden death, prolonged asystole, and status epilepticus have been reported. A detailed history and exam are important to diagnose theses spells and help distinguish from epileptic seizures and other causes of syncope.
What causes breath-holding spells?
What causes breath holding? The cause of breath holding is not known. Breath holding is usually involuntary, and is caused by a slowing of the heart rate or changes in your child’s usual breathing patterns. Sometimes breath-holding spells are brought on by strong emotions such as anger, fear, pain or frustration.
Why do babies turn blue when crying?
Many young children hold their breath when upset, turn blue, but don’t pass out. This is common and normal. Frequent spells can happen in children who have anemia (low red blood count). This can happen if your child doesn’t eat enough foods with iron.
Why does my baby hold his breath and grunt?
If you notice your child is grunting, it may be a sign that he or she is having trouble breathing. By grunting, your child can raise the pressure in their lungs more than they can from a normal breath thereby getting more air into their lungs.