How can you tell the difference between a breath-holding spell and a seizure?
Breath-holding attacks can be distinguished from seizures as they are provoked, typically by pain or the child becoming upset. Typically, the child will begin crying and then stop breathing as they breathe out. It may sound like a silent cry or a series of grunts.
Are breath-holding spells fatal?
A breath holding spell is when a child holds their breath, usually after being angry, frustrated, startled, or in pain. Sometimes the breath holding leads to the child passing out. It can be frightening to watch a breath-holding spell, but they aren’t harmful and usually last less than a minute.
What causes involuntary breath-holding?
What causes breath holding? The cause of breath holding is not known. Breath holding is usually involuntary, and is caused by a slowing of the heart rate or changes in your child’s usual breathing patterns. Sometimes breath-holding spells are brought on by strong emotions such as anger, fear, pain or frustration.
What are the 2 types of breath-holding syncope events?
Breath holding spells have been reported to present to medical attention as an ALTE. These are typically divided into two types: cyanotic and pallid.
Can breath-holding cause seizure?
Some children also have seizures during breath-holding spells. This does not mean they have a seizure disorder. Seizures are different from mild twitching, and they may cause a child to vomit or pass urine. They are more likely to occur in children who have long periods of breath-holding.
What is holding breath syndrome?
A breath-holding spell is an episode in which the child involuntarily stops breathing and loses consciousness for a short period immediately after a frightening or emotionally upsetting event or a painful experience. Breath-holding spells usually are triggered by physically painful or emotionally upsetting events.
Can breath-holding cause seizures?
What is breath-holding syndrome?
A breath-holding spell is a benign paroxysmal nonepileptic disorder occurring in healthy children 6 to 48 months of age. The episodes start with a provocation such as emotional upset or minor injury, and might progress to breath holding, cyanosis, and syncope.
Does anxiety cause you to hold your breath?
In times of stress, worry, and fear we tend to either speed up or hold our breath. This stress response happens automatically due to our innate fight, flight, or freeze response.
How common is breath-holding spells?
Up to 5% of children experience breath-holding spells. They can occur as early as 6 months and may continue until a child is 6 years old. The peak age for breath-holding spell is 2 years. Breath-holding spells are a reflex, that is the body’s automatic response to distress.
What is the difference between breath-holding spells and epilepsy?
Breath-holding spells can only happen when your child is awake and usually when they are standing. Epileptic seizures may happen while a child is awake or asleep. There is no increased risk of children with breath-holding spells later developing epilepsy.
What are breath-holding spells and reflex anoxic seizures?
Breath-holding spells and reflex anoxic seizures are nonepileptic paroxysmal events. The events are benign, but can be frightening to parents and others observing an episode. It is important to differentiate these episodes from epileptic seizures so that the child is not inappropriately treated with antiepileptic medication.
What are the long-term effects of breath-holding spells in children?
No long-term neurological or health issues occur as a consequence of having breath-holding spells in childhood. There is not an increased risk of having epileptic seizures associated with breath-holding spells.
Why is my child holding their breath?
Breath-holding is usually triggered by a sudden shock or pain, or strong emotions like fear, upset or anger. There are 2 types of breath-holding: This is the most common type of breath-holding and happens when a child’s breathing pattern changes. This type of breath-holding happens when a child’s heart rate slows down.