What to do about breath holding spells in young children

Pediatrician Tamiko Jordan, MD, shares advice for parents on the best way to handle your child's breath holding spell and how to tell if they become serious
Breath-Holding Spells in Young Children
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What to do about breath holding spells in young children

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Breath holding spells are very common in kids especially when around age 2. They can occur from 6 months to 6 years. The important thing to know about breath holding spells is that they're not dangerous to the child even if they pass out for a second or 2. Breath holding spells come in 2 varieties. The blue kind where kids will hold their breath usually after being disciplined until they lose consciousness or the pale version where they can be settled and frightened, become pale and lose consciousness. You would want to see your doctor if you thought your child was having lost consciousness for any other reasons you doctor could evaluate your baby for things like seizures, for things like heart arrhythmia or iron deficiency anemia. The best therapy for breath holding spells is for parents to stay calm and turning a baby on their sides helpful. In some cases your doctor may prescribe you iron which has been found a help even if there is no iron deficiency anemia.

Pediatrician Tamiko Jordan, MD, shares advice for parents on the best way to handle your child's breath holding spell and how to tell if they become serious

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Tamiko Jordan, MD

General Pediatrician, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Jordan was born in Riverside, California and received her medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine.  She completed her pediatric residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and has since worked in many different settings.  Currently she is an attending pediatrician at the Altamed General Pediatric Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she teaches pediatric residents and sees her own patients in private practice.  She has been featured on ABC7 and FOX11 news as well as the Patt Morrison Show on 89.3 KPCC.  Her latest project is the asthma clinic at Altamed, where she can spend more time educating patients and parents about optimizing their asthma care and minimizing ER visits and lost school days.  

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