View Full Version : Breath-Holding Spells

21-01-2010, 07:43 PM
My 15month mindee has just start to have breath-holding spells and it scares the life out of me!

She does it when she hurts herself or when having a tantrum. She'll do the silent crying many children do but for quite a prolonged period of time which results in her passing out. Her parents know about it and she did it with them before me so I had been warned. It's just not very nice to have a baby in your care that has stopped breathing. it doesn't last long and I've done some research this evening which says the brain doesn't get starved of oxygen and that there aren't any lasting affects.

Has anyone else experienced this?

21-01-2010, 07:47 PM
Yes :panic:

My niece used to do it, so scary, i just used to blow in her face :thumbsup:

Apparently her dad (my brother) did as a baby :rolleyes:

21-01-2010, 07:52 PM
Thanks Lisa

I've been blowing in her face too or just gently tapping her face. My article I found on it says there's a family history of it in about 25% of cases so that would make sense for your niece if your Brother used to do it. M's cousin also does it.

The spooky thing is I used to have mild fits as a child when I hurt myself so now I'm getting a taster of what I used to put my mum through!

21-01-2010, 07:52 PM
i would say the same as lisa just blow in her face :thumbsup:

21-01-2010, 07:59 PM
Please go to:
www.stars.org.uk for more info.

My eldest son has this and he holds his breath (not on purpose) passes out with his eyes rolling and starts fitting/shaking - very scary - he has had this since he was 12 months old and he is now 5 years old. The advice given on website is very good and has information leaflets that you can print out etc

21-01-2010, 08:08 PM
Oh it's so scary when they do this.

A little one many years ago used to and I remember that feeling of ... cry, please cry and they didn't...

Even now when I hear little ones hurt themselves and there's that breath before they scream I hold mine too remembering the little girl.

I used to blow in her face too, I think as much for me to be trying something as anything.

Hugs x

21-01-2010, 08:23 PM
I can also recommend the stars website above for more info. A few years ago I had a mindee who had occasional reflex anoxic seizures (RAS). She had her first one whilst with me :eek: She started to have a tantrum and all of a sudden the noise stopped and she fell to the the floor, at first I thought she had choked on something as she stopped breathing so up-ended her and did the back patting routine and suddenly she was breathing again. Scared me to death. By the time mum and the ambulance arrived she was back to normal. She was 2 at the time and she had these seizures maybe once every fortnight (or so) for about a year and then they just stopped. Thankfully it only happened for me the once, but it was probably the most worrying 10 minutes I've had in 13 years of minding.

21-01-2010, 09:51 PM
My daughter suffered with RAS (reflex anoxic seizures) from the age of 6 months. First happend at a toddler group when another child stepped on her fingers.

It's scary yes, but be reasured the child will come to no harm. My daughter underwent many test in the hospital and because her's were a reaction to pain they monitered her with EEG and ECG whilst having an RAS. They are self limiting and the passing out bit is the bodies way of ending it to cause no harm.

I was told to never blow on her face, as she would always pass out and breath again before causing harm, by blowing on the face you can confuse the body and prolong the attack.

My daughter continued to have them right though until the age of 6/7 ish. They were still connected to pain, but progressed to tantrums too. She'd have a paddy then flop in a heap on the floor, go stiff, shake then just lay there.

I remember she did it once when she was about 6 in the middle of the Pontins entertainment, all because I wouldn't buy her (another) light toy! People all around were panicking.....I just ignored her and made sure she sat down before she fell down.:blush:

Forgot to say, when I explained to my mum what was happening, she said "oh, you used to do that, I wondered what was wrong with you!"

22-01-2010, 08:21 AM
My LO does this, luckily not with me though. Mums advice is not to blow in his face, but to put him face down across your knee. If he goes blue, then call an ambulance :panic:

22-01-2010, 10:44 AM
My daughter also did this touch wood it hasnt happened now for a while. She is now 5 and they say they usually grow out of it by 5.

They are not actually holding their breath they are exhaling and then not able to inhale to take that next breath in hence passing out. . This is different to when children hold their breath during a temper tamtrum etc.

My lo first did this in a busy shopping centre when she got a fright and she also did it when she hurt herself.

The advice we were given was to get a cold cloth and place it over her face which makes the body take that breath that it needs. Anything cold will do i have even used an icepop and that worked.

Blowing in my lo face did not work as she got older.

Although we were reassured that she would come to no harm it is a terrifying experience just waiting for them to come back round.
We have had to call 999 twice when she took longer to come round but by the time they got to us she was ok again .
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