Why Does My Baby Hold His/Her Breath When He/She Is Upset?« Back to Questions List

Sometimes when my baby gets a booboo or doesn't get their way they get so upset they literally stop breathing!? Are they going to suffocate or something?
Posted by Anon A Mouse
Asked on January 15, 2014 4:45 pm

”Breath-holding spells are brief periods when young children stop breathing for up to 1 minute. These spells often cause a child to pass out (lose consciousness). Breath-holding spells usually occur when a young child is angry, frustrated, in pain, or afraid. But the spell is a reflex. Children don’t have breath-holding spells on purpose.” (WebMD)

”Breath-holding spells occur in approximately 5% of the population with equal distribution between males and females.” (Wikipedia)

”Breath-Holding Spells have a dramatic presentation, and they are often terrifying for parents to observe. Although the label “BHS” suggests a voluntary action, such spells are actually involuntarily and reflexive. BHS occur while the child is awake and engaging in active breathing. The duration of the spells is typically from 2 to 20 seconds, but can last as long as a minute or more.” (parenting.org)

If you’ve ever experienced an episode of a breath-holding spell with your child, you’ve probably felt a panic like none you’d ever thought possible. In case you still don’t know what happened, here’s some information:




Posted by Kassondra
Answered On January 15, 2014 5:02 pm