A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Breath-Holding Spells
I had a question the other day about breath-holding spells.
Many of us have heard stories about stubborn toddlers who hold their breath until they turn blue in the face.
These might sound like amusing “terrible twos” stories, but they’re not funny to parents.
Breath-holding spells can be terrifying because kids hold their breath until they pass out.
According to Kids Health, the spells aren’t intentional — they’re an involuntary reflex, which means kids have no control over them.
Although very disturbing to those who witness them, breath-holding spells aren’t harmful and pose no serious health risks.
A spell typically lasts less than a minute before a child regains consciousness and resumes breathing normally.
Breath-holding spells can happen in healthy children between 6 months and 6 years old, but are most common during the second year of life.
They can be more common in kids with a family history of them.
In most cases, breath-holding spells can be predicted and even prevented once triggers are identified.
Kids usually outgrow them by age 5 or 6.
If your child has a breath-holding spell (stops breathing; turns blue, purple, or white in the face; and passes out for a brief time), stay calm and:
>check your child’s mouth for food or any object posing a choking hazard
>roll your child over onto his or her side
>remove all objects or furniture within reach in case your child has a seizure
>begin administering CPR if your child doesn’t resume breathing.
Although breath-holding spells aren’t harmful, they can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition and should be checked out.
Most spells are an involuntary response to strong emotions (like being angry, scared, or frustrated), but some are caused by medical conditions.
Treating these conditions may help reduce the frequency of breath-holding spells.
Once underlying conditions are ruled out, a doctor can help parents determine what triggers a spell in their child, how to prevent future spells, and how to deal with them if they happen.
Once kids develop better coping skills they usually outgrow breath-holding spells.
But in the meantime, parents have a challenge greater than witnessing the episodes: finding a way to discipline the child which won’t provoke another spell.
Try not to give in to tantrums and obstinate behavior; young kids need limits and guidelines to help them stay safe and become well-adjusted emotionally.
With experience you can learn to cope with breath-holding spells while providing a safe and structured environment until your child outgrows them.
To deal with breath-holding spells it’s beneficial to:
*Give your child lots of purified water to drink daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Alfalfa is a valuable source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that promote growth. It can be taken in tablet or capsule form, as well as eaten in a natural form like alfalfa sprouts.
*Eat a well-balanced diet high in healthful sources of protein. Protein is necessary for growth.
*Avoid foods containing artificial colors or preservatives.
*Avoid fried and fatty foods like bacon, cold cuts, gravies, ham, luncheon meats, and sausage.
*Avoid processed food and junk food.
*Use an elimination diet to test for food allergies, which can aggravate the condition.
*Increase fresh air, sunshine, connect to nature, adequate rest.
*Ensure regular bowel movements.
*Decrease toxic exposures of all kinds.
*Avoid MSG and artificial sweeteners as they’re neurotoxins.
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