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Dd (19 months) holding her breath before crying and today she passed out - is there anything I can do?

(13 Posts)
LIG1979 Sun 09-Mar-14 17:15:15

Dd has always held her breath before crying but today she fell off a step and did this and then ended up going rigid, shaking and passing out. She came round and was pale for a bit but by the time she was in the ambulance she was back to her normal monkey self. At a&e there wasn't a mark on her. Is there anything I can do to stop her holding her breath?

ilove Sun 09-Mar-14 17:18:25

It's commonly called "kinking" and is very normal and totally harmless. Try sprinkling a little cold water on her face to make her startle slightly, or tickle her, or blow in her face, tap her on the back - anything that makes her jump a little to stop her concentrating on holding her breath.

Scary when they do this though isn't it, it's something many children do in temper/paddying

FlankShaftMcWap Sun 09-Mar-14 17:20:05

I'm afraid I don't know of any way to stop her doing it, my 3 youngest have all been breath holders and DD2 who is 9 has only very recently grown out of it. We do find that a short sharp blow into the mouth as they breath hold can sometimes shock them out of it before it gets to passing out point though, may be worth a try if it happens again.

It's awfully frightening isn't it, hope you're feeling ok thanks

iloveweetos Sun 09-Mar-14 17:21:32

Dd did this and a little blow in her face did the trick very scary! Some people may advise against the blow but ignore them. It's better than your child passing out again.
Keep calm smile x

LIG1979 Sun 09-Mar-14 19:08:50

Thank you - I will trying blowing next time she does it. She has done it a lot before and I never worried but she hasn't passed out before. It was horrible though and very scary. Hoping a well earned wine tonight will help me!

Goldmandra Sun 09-Mar-14 19:34:13

It is horrible. I remember caring for a child who did this. He used to go blue, pass out and twitch then go really sleepy for about forty minutes.

There was nothing we could do except hold him and reassure him when he came round. Now and then we had to be quick to catch him before he hit the floor. You don't get a lot of warning if you don't see what makes them cry and they stay silent so we had to be quite vigilant around steps, etc.

It is shocking at first but, once you've seen it a few times, it becomes more normal and manageable.

They do grow out of it and one day you'll just realise it's not happened for ages.

Dappydongle Sun 09-Mar-14 19:37:40

A sharp blowing in the face worked for us

qwertina Sun 09-Mar-14 20:00:04

My DD is 2.5 and used to do this fairly often, we were told it was this
She appears to be growing out of it, she hasn't had an episode in about six months now. I agree with the blowing in the face trick, it always worked for us.

DreamToSleep Sun 09-Mar-14 20:20:51

We had an ambulance out to us when my youngest did exactly the same 2 months ago. She hasn't done it since. I was warning whatsoever.

LIG1979 Sun 09-Mar-14 21:27:00

Quertina - that link sounds just like what dd had. It does also make me think that maybe what we thought was a febril convulsion a few months ago could have also been the same.

At least both times she has recovered quickly with no lasting effects. Although that isn't much comfort at the time.

SourSweets Mon 10-Mar-14 06:16:32

I used to do this, my mum would blow in my face. I grew out of it and have no memory of it now.

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Mar-14 05:43:58

DS2 (17mo) is going through a bad phase of this just recently. Worse, when he passes out, he doesn't immediately start breathing again, which is very scary.

DS1 was a breath-holder (I assume you mean that they breathe all the way out and then can't take a breath in? That's what DSs both do/did) but he never passed out, thankfully - I used to poke him in the solar plexus to try and get his diaphragm to release so he could breathe in. MIL says DH used to do it too, when he was having a tantrum - but when he passed out and fell to the floor, he would immediately start breathing again.

Non breathing after passing out is something new to her (she's a nurse as well) so DS2 is taking it to new levels of scary. The first time I gently pushed his chest to get it moving again but the next two times, I breathed into his nose.

Blowing into his face doesn't seem to work, unfortunately - if I had water to hand, throwing that at him might but I don't always and he goes out VERY quickly - so I've had to resort to slapping him on the side of his chest (MIL advocated pinching his earlobe, another tactic) to avoid it.

He doesn't always do it in tantrum, last one he did was because he ran his face into the door (forgot to put his hands out to stop himself).

I've seen a consultant paediatrician who thinks that there's nothing much we can do that we're not doing already - DS2 is otherwise healthy - the only thing that might help is having him checked for iron deficiency, as low iron status can contribute to this situation. Other than that, just wait for him to grow out of it and try to avoid him getting into those situations.

The paed did say that he seems to have an overly sensitive autonomic nervous system, but there's really nothing we can do about that!

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Mar-14 05:47:32 this is what DS2 has (and the others had) - type 2, most usually.

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