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Breath Holding Spell? Help!

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 So, a few nights ago, my twin boys were in the bathtub, and as usual when I took Cameron out, he started to cry because he loves bath time. As Daddy sat him down on the towel to start to dry him off, he suddenly stopped crying. As we looked at him, his eyes were rolling in the back of his head, and he was stiff as a board from his neck to toes. We of course picked him right up and he stayed that way. We ran into the livingroom and by then he had stopped breathing. He was white as a ghost, lips purple, his eyes were very distant and his body just limp. I called 911 frantic saying that my baby was dead (Thats what I honestly thought). My fiancee just kept rubbing his back and yelling to him, and after about 45 seconds he gasped for air and started breathing again. The ambulance got here, checked his vitals and said everything seemed normal. While we were waiting at the ER, the more I thought about it, the more I thought it seemed like it could be a seizure, plus, both of my parents had seizures at young ages. After a while of checking vitals and monitoring his breathing, they did a CT scan, and it came back normal. The emergency room doctor said it was a "breath holding spell". She said sometimes children cry until they pass out for attention pretty much. I just dont think shes right. My sons are 18 months old and I dont think they are at the stage to do something like that on their own. And the way he went completely stiff and stopped breathing just doesnt sound like a "normal thing" (what the doc told me) to me. I have a lot of friends with kids the same age as mine and this has never happened to them. The doctor told me to take cpr classes and try to make them not cry. How thats possible with an 18 month old I have no idea. We have a follow up appt with his pediatrician on Wednesday and she is going to refer us to a neurologist. This whole incident has me scared to death for him to do anything. Has this happened to any of your children before and if so, how did your doctor diagnose it and what did you do to stop it? Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance!


by on Oct. 9, 2011 at 7:19 PM
Replies (11-14):
by on Oct. 10, 2011 at 8:07 PM
Sounds like a seizure to me.
by on Oct. 10, 2011 at 8:12 PM

DD (who is 7 now) used to do that almost every time she cried, beginning when she was an infant.  She would get so upset and cry, then hold her breath, turn blue and fall limply to the ground.  We learned that when it began, we would blow in her face to get her to take a breath.  It was very scary for us too!  It never looked like a seizure to me (even though I have an aunt who had childhood epilepsy).  Maybe keep an eye on him when he's upset and blow in his face when it looks like he's holding his breath.  Good luck.

by Sarah on Oct. 10, 2011 at 8:12 PM
I have a friend who's son did this starting around 18 months. She never said anything about him going stiff though. But I honestly never asked to many detailed questions..

GL mama!
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by on Oct. 10, 2011 at 10:58 PM

 I have never heard of the blowing in the face thing, but heard it twice tonight and I will definitely try that if it happens again.. thank you very much ladies! I should have just talked to a bunch of moms in the first place instead of thinking a DOCTOR would be able to give me any advice or what to do if it happened again! Thank you again so much moms! <3

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