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breath holding attacks - anyone?

(10 Posts)
pedalpants Sun 05-Jun-11 21:16:25

my ds (3yrs) has recently had a couple of breath holding attacks where he has had a tantrum then passed out -momentarily - after holding his breath. he goes slightly blue around the lips and his eyes roll up and he goes limp in my arms. recovers extremely quickly and then plays well again after a cuddle.

Sounds really dramatic but actually it happened both times when others were present and they didn't notice the full extent of what happened. ie. didn't see that he had actually lost consciousness.

anyone else had this and when might I expect it to stop.. soon I hope!

LakeFlyPie Sun 05-Jun-11 21:37:33

DS does this occasionally in response to shock / pain (trapped fingers, bumped head etc).
First happened when he was 8 months old and really frightened us.
I went to GP who was unconcerned and said it's not uncommon and he should grow out of it.
He's now 3 and we thought it had stopped until a couple more incidents recently; one when he fell awkwardly on a slide and another when he ran into a door frame.
I warned nursery about it when he first attended and the staff there were familiar with it which reassured me, fortunately he hasn't done it there.

This describes it.

Interestingly I can be a bit 'fainty' so maybe it is 'familial increased vagal tone' being a bit of a wuss

pedalpants Sun 05-Jun-11 22:00:55

Thanks - vagal tone! definitely sounds rude!

I'm not sure of the difference between breath holding attacks and the reflex seizures but I don't think ds was holding his breath for long enough to really trigger a faint, it was more like he was completely overwhelmed with pain and fury and his whole system cut out.

one occasion was when he was pushed and fell, another was when he fell and dropped a toy he didn't want to lose. on both occasions he was tired.

he falls and has tantrums on plenty of other occasions and it doesn't happen so not sure what causes the difference.

gymbabe Mon 06-Jun-11 17:59:42

My mum told me that I used to do that as a child. She brought me to her GP as she thought I had something really wrong with me! He told her it was just my way of having a tantrum and to put me into a room alone so that when I woke up there wouldn't be anyone there to give me any attention. My mum had her doubts but did it anyway and I only did it twice more before I stopped. She did say it was one of most terrifiying things she ever did and she kept the door open a smidge to keep an eye on me. But it worked!

pipsy76 Mon 06-Jun-11 18:03:20

Ours ds got blue lighted to A&E aged 2 as he completly passed out and stopped breathing, they diagnosed breath holding and explained once unconcious the automating breathing reflect kicks in. He would do it in response to pain, it's really scary to witness, so I know where you're coming from!

fuzzypicklehead Mon 06-Jun-11 21:11:12

Yep, my DD does this as well. She started when she was around 8 months old, but was really intense with it around 2, when she dropped her nap. I thought she had finished (she's 3.5) but a couple of weeks ago she had a shock at the play barn and staggered over to her daddy before dropping like a ton of bricks. Since then shes had a couple more spells, and I figure it's part of some developmental stage she's working on.

Of course now that she's out of nappies, we've also discovered that she loses bladder control when this happens as well. Oh, the fun!

elliehh Mon 06-Jun-11 22:59:12

My cousin used to do this when he was a toddler. My Auntie used to look for the signs, as soon as he started to hold his breath she would take him to a room on his own and leave him there for a couple of minutes to calm down then go back in to see him.

Its frustration, once they realise this works to get you to stop being mad and start cuddling and being nice mummy again they will keep doing it.

Ignore breath holding!

TyNobdieJigz Mon 06-Jun-11 23:04:59

My ds does this, he is 3 on thursday.
It started when he was about 12 months old, Grandma panicked, and shook him shock snatched him out of my calm arms to do so too hmm
I was angry.
When it happens now, usually due to pain, I just cuddle him, he goes blue, occassionally goes limp but calms down. It is horrible.

TyNobdieJigz Mon 06-Jun-11 23:07:32

Oh and personally I couldnt just ignore him tbh, If ds was tantruming I would, but never when he is in pain.

neolara Mon 06-Jun-11 23:09:35

I used to do this when I was a child. The GP told my mun to ignore me. I then decided to up the ante by doing it at the top of the stairs.... Probably best to put your dc somewhere safe and then walk away.

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