Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How to surprise your pediatrician

As I have noted before Harry is a breath holder. He has impressive temper tantrums where he will hold his breath and pass out. These generally happen when he is over tired or needs to eat but sometimes he does it just because he is just a little stinker that wants his own way.

Today at his doctor's appointment he got whipped up into a frenzy because Evan was upset at being in the place where shots are given. While Evan was getting ready to have his Synagis shot Harry keeled over much to the pediatrician's surprise. He apparently had never witnessed a breath holding incident before and was a bit worried that my heart healthy Harry was turning blue and twitching a bit on his floor. I had to assure him that this was something that happened quite frequently and that the only thing to be done was let it run it's course and Harry would be over it pretty soon. Normally I try and sit or lay Harry down when a spell is happening but I had not noticed that he was about to pass out since I was busy with Evan.

I did a bit of searching and found a few places where Harry's spells are described pretty accurately. Harry has the cyanotic version of the breath holding spells. Apparently only 5% of kids exhibit the breath holding behavior. It really is nice to know that I have such special kids. The good news is that it is very likely he will out grow this by the time he is five.

Below is some video of Harry in action. This was not a full on episode as he really recovered quite quickly. The background voice is my sister, her camera took much better video than my elderly camera was able to.

31 comments:

Amber said...

That's scary stuff. My friend went through the exact same thing and her pediatrician told them just to ignore when he did it...that he would be OK and just stop when he turned 3 (or 4; I can't remember). Miraculously, it played out just as he said!

Tracy said...

Holy cow! You guys are so calm about that! I guess if it is a common occurance you would get used to it :), but it must have scared you the first time he did it! I've never witnessed that before ... stubborn little guy sure knows how to put on a show and get the attention!

Karen said...

That's quite a skill Harry has. A less informed parent would give into those tantrums in order to prevent such drama. That would just lead to different problems down the line....ones much more difficult to deal with. :( Just make sure he doesn't have a tantrum at the top of a flight of stairs!

Magpie said...

Always good to teach the pediatrician!

Jaelithe said...

Now THAT is willpower.

chelle said...

Wow how does that not freak you out?!?!

you da mom! said...

oh, little guy! i would probably pass out myself if my son did that!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love that you two can sit an giggle in the midst of that! (Funny how you learn to accept things as normal -- once its determined that there is no danger! -- and just go on with your life!)

Thats some pretty impressive breath holding! Does he usually just move on afterward like nothing happened? I could see not trying to head off the tantrum if I knew that it was self-terminating -- so to speak!

bella

Sara said...

Holy MOSES! That would just do me in, I think. You're much braver than I. Harry is lucky to have a solid mom in you!

Just running around on the Blog Party and your name caught my eye. Thanks!

Domestic Slackstress said...

I can't even believe my eyes. And I thought my children were challenging. Wow. Watch out for this one when he's a teenager. Holy moly. Un-frickin-believable!

Anne/kq said...

Yeah, I was a breath-holder. I'm lucky that neither of mine has discovered yet that if you hold your breath you pass out and scare mom.

happy mommy said...

I have a daughter who used to do this. It freaked us out the first few times.

She grew out of it. She has moved on to entirely different things to freak mommy and daddy out with, LOL.

Gina said...

That is so interesting how his brain tells him to do that.

Damselfly said...

Yow! I guess I have a lot to learn about toddlers. I have heard kids make threats to hold their breath if they don't get their way, but have never heard of them passing out! I sure bet the dr. was surprised.

Ami said...

Wow! So how did you react the first time, especially with your experience with Evan?

Awesome Mom said...

Well actually I didn't really react. Evan would hold his breath when he was an infant and since he did it for the first time in the hospital where there were doctors ect and they did not react then to me it was not a big deal. So when I had another baby that like his brother held his breath but would snap out if it when I blew in his face I was not worried.

It did not get to the whole pass out point until Harry was much older and by then I was already used to the idea.

Shinga said...

Those colour changes were impressive and must be even more so in real life.

Interesting video!

Regards - Shinga

moreena said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

I can't believe that! My heart broke a little bit when he came around, looked up, and said, "Oh, no." He is adorable, even all cyanotic.

purple_kangaroo said...

My oldest daughter did something similar at this age. She would keel over backwards, though--She'd twitch like crazy, arms and legs flaling as she flopped around. Then her eyes would roll back in her head and she'd go limp and blue. She didn't make gasping noises like that; she'd just be screaming one moment and silent the next. It scared us horribly the first few times, and every time it took her longer to come around. She'd be disoriented for a while afterwards.

The doctor called it having "fits" and said she should grow out of it by school age, and she has. It used to happen almost every time she got really upset.

Rebecca said...

Poor little guy!!

Anonymous said...

My son has been a breath holder since he was 9 months old, he is now 2. He has a very strong personality. And my daughter is autistic, so I have two very strong-willed children. Apparently my husband also was a breath holder.

allison said...

Glad to hear we are not the only one. The first time this happened to Matthew (10 mo.)last month, my husband (a physician) called the EMS. We thought he must be choking on something. Now that Matthew has had 3 other episodes since we realized he was just holding his breath. We now are a bit calmer in the situation.

Anonymous said...

I may be in the minority in the comments, but I personally found that a difficult thing to watch. My daugher had similar problems from the age of 9 months, and although I never gave her any special attention when she passed out, apart from making sure she was safe, my GP said it was almost impossible for a baby to do this for attention, toddlers maybe, but babies no.

Anonymous said...

I found that hard to watch, my daugther had similar problems, but luckily she grew out of it at the age of 4.

Maria said...

Flipping heck - this is normal then. Me and Jack's dad freaked when Jack first did this and now does it on daily basis. Still upsetting and frightening to watch but glad its "normal"

Anonymous said...

our eleven month old just started doing this - and we have been researching to find out what was going on... after watching your video, we're thinking it's breath holding. Hopefully, it's not something more serious. thanks for the insight -

frazzlednerves said...

Thanks, I'll be able to sleep tonight, judt spent three hours at the e.r. left reluctantly without a c.t. scan for 16 month old. she bonked her head a the park then did exactly what your son does does. It scared the @#&!! out of me, then I get home and dad lets her roll off the couch, she does it again!! I't been quite a day for this mama, glad to know what's really happening!

Anonymous said...

My daughter also passes out. The first time was in the airport after bumping her head on the chair. To see you daughter's eyes roll back in her head and have her go limp is terrifying. I got up and ran for help. She has done it several times since, sometimes passing out then coming to and passing out again. I have never just go used to because hers usually happen after she gets hurt. We have tile floors so I know if she is going to pass out or not based on the noise that comes with the bump.

Jackie said...

My son is 16 months old and he stopped breathing today when he started crying, it was a terrifying experience they said his blood sugar was 63 so when you said its common when your childs hungry is made sense I´m on hols in spain and even though the doctor came and we went to hospital I still dont know what to do if it happens again. I would greatly appreciate some advice. My email is jagrant@tesco.net.

Opus59701 said...

My son is 10 months old and does the same thing. Interestingly, my mother told me stories of me doing something similar. Anyway, Mom just had our boy down to visit Grandma, Aunts, etc... and he pulled several of them. They all freaked out and scared Mom half to death with their panicking. "He's not normal", "That's dangerous", "He needs to see a doctor", etc... Poor Mom.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what my son Garrett does. Sometimes it won't happen for a week or more, other times several times in one day. Same pregression everytime, something upsets or startles or he gets hurt, gets upset, turns blue and rigid, arches back, etc, eyes role, then limp and nothing. Few seconds later, awake, and a lot of teh time has forgoten what he was upset about.