breath-holding and seizures, anyone have this problem? Only happens after he gets mad or hurt.

Becky - posted on 05/24/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 16 month old will hold his breath, turn a little blue around lips and fingers and will pass out after hurting himself or is mad about something. He has had two episodes afterwards a month apart where it looks like seziure activity-it is really scary to see-doctors say it is all part of the breath-holding and say he will outgrow it by age 4 or 5-anyone have experiences with this?


Jane - posted on 09/02/2010




My son has breath-holding seizures. He is now 3and1/2, and has done it since he was a baby. Sometimes he does it when he hurts himself, not so much because of pain but from getting startled, but now that he is older he will also do it if for a tantrum, like if he doesn't want to have a shower or if he is tired. Once he gets going, he doesn't respond to anything I do, and well-meaning people often say to me, "just blow on his face" or "just splash cold water on his face". Believe me, I have tried every possible thing, even a sharp slap. It begins with a soundless cry, and he doesn't take a breath in. It lasts between 30 and 60 seconds, during which he will fall over, arch his back, violently kick his arms and legs, and often urinate. (He doesn't wear a nappy anymore, and this is embarrassing for him.) Afterwards, he usually doesn't remember what happened. Now that he is big, I can't physically hold him while he is thrashing, and I lay him down on the ground so he doesn't fall down. Its weird because it often starts out like its a deliberate thing he's doing, but then he can't seem to stop. I keep hoping that he's growing out of it, but so far, he's still doing it regularly but at least not as often as he used to. There was a period where he did as many as 7 times in a day. So, of course, I was worried but numerous GPs tell me its ok, its normal, its not doing him any damage, he has no developmental problems, he is bright active and healthy: its just something that .05% of children do. But I have seen other women burst into tears when they experience him doing a breath holding seizure, because they panic, and sometimes if we are at the shops and people see it, they will come rushing over and ask if they should call centre management.... it is really a distressing thing. I just really want him to grow out of it before school starts. No one I know has a child that does this. Does anyone recognise what I'm describing?

Angela - posted on 05/25/2010




Hi Becky, someone a month or so ago posted about reflex anoxic seizures (RAS) I just looked through previous post and found it a couple of pages down. You might want to look it up because it sounds very similar to what your son is going through. Hope this helps xo


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Rachaelrhodes1234 - posted on 09/04/2010




i am so glad i read your post your not alone, i have been dealing with this with my little one since he was BORN he's now 2.5y an still having them

Alexis - posted on 05/29/2010




my now 20yo used to hold his breath for attention but my 3yo used to hold his breath if he hurt himself or didnt get something he wanted... i spoke to the doctor about this and as scary as it is the body will automatically start breathing when he passes out... i would watch my now 3yo as he held his breath, i would lay him on the floor and he would pass out.. this only happened a few times and he stopped holding his breath.. after having a child who has siezures i was also scared that this was siezure activity but it wasnt.... he no longer holds his breath...
i hope this helps...

[deleted account]

My son used to hold his breath and do the same thing. He was 12 months when it started and it lasted for about 6 months. It is scary and i hated it but i knew to just let him go as he would only go so far. Once they pass out they usually start breathing again as the body just kicks in and does what it should. Always montior them while they do it. One thing which concerns me a bit with my own experience is from what you have described is exactly what my son did but only from thinking back to then have i noticed that he was doing the whole holding breath thing and then slight seizure looking activity would happen. My son has had 3 febrile seizures ( not related to the breath holding) maybe for my son it was seizures when he was holding his breath? Sorry just thinking that they may be related somehow.

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