What you should know about breath holding spell?

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 12/05/2020
Share now

What is breath holding spell?

A breath holding spell is a condition in which a child stop breathing and fall unconscious for up to a minute. Children may unintentionally experience these spells when they are frustrated or in pain.

There are 2 types of breath holding spells:

  • Cyanotic spell happens when the child is angry.
  • Pallid spell happens when the child’s heart rate drops.

What are the symptoms of breath holding spell?

Children usually have breath holding spells between the age of 6 months to 6 years old. While some children only have a spell occasionally, some can have them a few times everyday. Symptoms of breath holding spells include unconsciousness, muscle twist, seizure, heart beat changes (slower or faster than normal), skin color changes and even crying.

Could a breath holding spell related with medical condition?

In most cases, breath holding spells will disappear on its own when the child grows up without any complication. However, what looks like a casual spell may result from much more serious medical conditions such as seizure disorder or iron deficiency anemia. So, if your children start to experience breath holding spells, take them to a doctor for a proper diagnosis. You should write down what happens during each spell since those details can greatly help.

How to treat breath holding spell?

Breath holding spells do not require treatment. To reduce the frequency of them, get your children sufficient rest and make sure they always feel safe. If the spells happen more often or more serious, tell your doctor.

During the spell, keep the child in a safe place where nothing can hurt him/her. After the spell is gone, do not punish your child since it is not his/her fault. However, do not give it too much attention either. Your child may perceive this as a way to get attention and try to fake it. That is why you should ignore your child’s breath holding episodes if there is no fainting, just like the way you ignore his/her tantrums.

As parents, you can help with your child’s condition by keeping the child from situations that may provoke breath holding spells. Find another way to discipline your child that is strict but your child can still handle without being too frightened. It is also a good idea to teach your child how to deal with negative emotions. This kind of lessons will benefit your child for his/her whole life.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Read also:

    Was this article helpful for you ?
    happy unhappy"
    Sources

    You might also like

    Are You Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?

    The terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" generally boil down to whether an individual thinks abortion should be banned or if it's acceptable.

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham

    What You Should Know When Feeding Your 8-12 Month Old?

    At 8-12 months, your baby's feeding will change to 3 “meals” per day at this stage; including a grain, fruit, veggie and a meat or protein source.

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham

    What Are the Causes of Bedwetting in Preschoolers

    Your child is not the only kid with bedwetting habit. In fact, ninety percent of kids think they're the only ones who wet the bed.

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham

    What Should You Prepare When Your Baby Goes Outside

    Fresh air and a change of surroundings are good for both you and your baby, so take your baby out for walks outside when the weather is nice.

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham

    Recommended for you

    Are Women Who Choose to Not Be Pregnant Exposed to Higher Risk of Ovarian Cancer?

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham
    Published on 26/12/2016
    perancang

    What’s the Best Birth Control for Teens?

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham
    Published on 24/12/2016

    Is It Possible to Abort by Drugs

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham
    Published on 17/12/2016

    When to Determine the Sex of Your Baby

    Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor
    Written by Tran Pham
    Published on 10/12/2016