Originally posted 2008-10-08 13:35:35.
I kid you not. This was what Caleb did a few days ago.
I was at work and Grandma called to tell me of this.
Apparently he was crying quite profusely. You know how at each Waaa… babies would then draw their breath for the next Waaa…? Well, he didn’t. So he turned blue in the lips, then in the face, and went limp.
Grandma had the shock of her life. She quickly stroked him, patted him on the body and face, and then Caleb woke up.
So, upon finding out this I quickly called Dr Pixie to tell her of this.
Is this a physiological condition?
An inherited condition?
A psychological condition?
Are there any dangers to this?
WHAT’S GOING ON??
Very calmly, Dr Pixie tells me that this is nothing new. Kids do this to get attention, to get things their way; that there is nothing to worry about.
The only thing she said was out of the ordinary was that Caleb is (already) doing this at such a young age of 9 months; my own niece / her own daughter did this once when she was 2.
She did say these words though: Do not give in to the boy’s demands. This is how kids become spoilt brats – they start getting adults to give into them and the trouble starts.
Most of the explanation and conversation revolved around behavioural attitude rather than anything medical.
You can imagine my astonishment at hearing all this. But then when I was hearing this explanation I was reminded of the saying about kids who “.. held his breath till he turned blue to get his way…” It all kinda clicked at the point.
I knew this boy was likely going to be a difficult child with that behaviour, but now with this incident, or shall I more accurately say, manipulative behaviour, we really have a troublemaker in our hands…..
I looked up the internet to research this. I did find a lot of the same things as what Dr Pixie said, plus more:
Not to worry because the body’s natural defenses will kick in, and the child will start breathing naturally again;
Lie them down when they “pass out” just to ensure that the blood flow continues into their brain;
Once the kid wakes up, pretend nothing happened. They do this to seek attention, and that is exactly what you should not give them. Running to them Are you okay? will only exacerbate the problem, and they will likely learn that this trick works and does it again, probably for more and greater demands. An example of nothing-happened are (to continue) reading your newspaper (but peer over the page), go about the household chores like usual. Another trick was to turn your back on them, use a mirror just to see if they are okay.
Here are some links which I visited:
And at the end is an excerpt from the last link above.
What a scare! Other than that quote above, none of us had ever heard of anything like this before, what more a 9 month old already starting to try manipulating the situation and people. Grandma still doesn’t believe this and asked to recheck this “condition”.
In a lot of ways, it kinda shows that this could possibly be a very smart boy.
I only hope that this genius will only use his power for good and not evil…..! Well at least be on his parents’ side! He already looks at his Daddee in a certain way!
What is a breath-holding spell?
A breath-holding spell is when your child holds his breath when he is suddenly injured, frustrated, angry, or frightened. Breath-holding spells begin between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. They occur only while the child is awake.
During a breath-holding spell:
• Your child may make 1 or 2 cries and then hold his breath in expiration until he becomes blue around the lips and passes out.
• Your child may stiffen and may have a few twitches or muscle jerks.
• Your child will breathe normally again and become fully alert in less than 1 minute.
What is the cause?
An abnormal reflex allows 5% of normal children to hold their breath long enough to pass out. Most children do not do this deliberately.
Holding the breath (when frustrated) and becoming bluish without passing out is such a common reaction in young infants that it is not considered abnormal.
How long does it last?
Breath-holding spells usually occur from 1 or 2 times a day to 1 or 2 times a month. Children usually stop having breath-holding spells by the time they are 4 or 5 years old.
Breath-holding spells are not dangerous, and they don’t lead to epilepsy or brain damage.
How can I take care of my child?
• Treatment during attacks of breath-holding
These attacks are harmless and always stop by themselves. Time the length of a few attacks, using a watch with a second hand.
During an attack, do not hold your child upright. Instead, he should lie flat. This position will increase blood flow to the brain and may prevent some of the muscle jerking. Put a cold wet washcloth on your child’s forehead until he starts breathing again. Don’t start resuscitation or call a rescue squad–it’s not necessary. Also, don’t put anything in your child’s mouth because it could make him choke or vomit.
• Treatment after attacks of breath-holding
Give your child a brief hug and go about your business. A relaxed attitude is best. If you are frightened, don’t let your child know it. If your child had a temper tantrum because he wanted his way, don’t give in to him after the attack.
• Prevention of injuries
The main injury risk of a breath-holding spell is a head injury. If your child starts to have an attack while standing near a hard surface, go to him quickly and help lower him to the floor.
What can I do to help prevent breath-holding spells?
Most attacks from falling down or a sudden fright can’t be prevented. Neither can most attacks that are triggered by anger. However, some children can be distracted from their breath-holding if you intervene before they become blue. Tell your child to come to you for a hug or to look at something interesting. Ask him if he wants a drink of juice.
If your child is having attacks every day, he probably has learned to trigger some of the attacks himself. This can happen when parents run to the child and pick him up every time he starts to cry, or when they give him his way as soon as the attack is over. Avoid these responses and your child won’t have an undue number of attacks.
When should I call my child’s health care provider?
Call during office hours if:
• More than one spell occurs each week.
• The attacks change.
• You have other concerns or questions.
Caution: Call a rescue squad (911) if your child has a different kind of attack during which he stops breathing for more than 1 minute or turns white (not blue).