Why do toddlers hold their breath when they cry?

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. They’ll cry, exhale very hard, but not breathe in again.

What causes breath holding spells?

What causes breath-holding spells? Breath-holding spells are usually caused by either a change in the child’s breathing or a slowing of the heart rate. These reactions may be brought on by pain or by strong emotions.

What do you do when a child holds their breath while crying?

What to do when a child has a breath-holding episode

  1. stay calm – it should pass in less than 1 minute.
  2. lie the child on their side – do not pick them up.
  3. stay with them until the episode ends.
  4. make sure they cannot hit their head, arms or legs on anything.
  5. reassure them and ensure they get plenty of rest afterwards.
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Is it normal for toddlers to hold 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 treat breath holding spells?

A doctor may recommend iron supplements for a child who has cyanotic breath-holding spells, even when the child does not have iron-deficiency anemia, and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (if the child has it).

Are breath holding spells normal?

Breath-holding spells happen in healthy children from 6 months to 6 years old. They’re most common when kids are 6–18 months old, and tend to run in families.

Why does my baby stop breathing for a few seconds?

Apnea is a condition in which a baby periodically stops breathing for more than 15 to 20 seconds. Premature infants, particularly those born more than seven weeks early, may suffer from apnea from time to time. While in the womb, babies receive oxygen from the mother’s placenta.

What happens if you stop breathing for 1 minute?

For most people, it’s safe to hold your breath for a minute or two. Doing so for too much longer can decrease oxygen flow to the brain, causing fainting, seizures and brain damage. In the heart, a lack of oxygen can cause abnormalities of rhythm and affect the pumping action of the heart.

Can breath holding spells cause death?

More severe spells may progress to clonic jerking and incontinence. Serious complications of breath holding spells are rare. However, breath holding spells associated with asystole have been reported to cause sudden death [10].

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Why does blowing on a baby’s face take her breath away?

The response is what’s known as the bradycardic reflex, which is part of the mammalian diving reflex. When the face of an infant is exposed to cold water, the heart slows down and blood is shifted away from the peripheral muscles to conserve oxygen for the brain and heart, and they typically hold their breath.

When do kids grow out of breath-holding spells?

Breath-holding spells can run in families. Starts between 6 months and 2 years of age. Goes away by age 6. Many young children hold their breath when upset, turn blue, but don’t pass out.

How long can a child hold their breath for?

Most kids outgrow breath-holding episodes by the time they’re 5 or 6 years old. Occasionally, kids may pass out for 30–60 seconds during a breath-holding spell. If this happens, talk with your doctor to be sure nothing more serious is going on.

Why does my toddler hold his breath when sleeping?

Obstructive sleep apnea is when a child briefly stops breathing while sleeping. It happens because of a blockage in the upper airway. This is the passages through the nose and mouth to the windpipe and lungs. The pause in breathing may occur many times in a night, disrupting the child’s sleep.

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.

Are breath holding spells genetic?

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)

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How long do breath holding spells last?

What does a breath-holding spell look like? A breath-holding spell will last only one or two minutes from beginning (crying or sobbing) to end (waking from unconsciousness), although they often seem longer to parents who observe them.

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