Category Archives: behavior and adolescent problem

hyperactive child, autism, enuresis, pica etc

Your child keep waking up at night; looks frightened and crying: It could be night terror

 night-terrors

Occasional Nightmare; most of us had nightmares when we were young or even today sometimes. Most of us have comforted our children for that too. But Night Terror (or Sleep terror) is something more than that.

Night Terror as the name suggests is more fearful and challenging than nightmare. Any parent whose child has experienced it, knows that it is inconsolable fear, no matter what you try.

Night terror has more alarming or dramatic presentation. It is also a type of sleep disruption similar to nightmare. It usually is not a sign of serious medical issues or neurological dysfunction.

Normal sleep cycle has several stages; most important are 2 phase:

  • Rapid eye movement (REM) stage where most of the dreams occur.
  • Non- REM stage: night terror occur during deep non-REM sleep

Technically speaking Night terrors are not dreams. They are rather a sudden reaction of fear that happens during transition from one phase of sleep to another.

 campare NT VS NM

It occur about 2- 3 hours after child goes to sleep. It is the time when child is moving smoothly from non-REM sleep to REM sleep. But sometimes during this transition, child becomes very frightened and agitated and that fear reaction is labeled as night terror.

How the scenario looks like during Night Terror?

Child might suddenly sit up in bed or starts to scream / shout. Child’s Heartbeat and breathing is much faster than normal, he/she might start to sweat a lot, looks scared and horrified. At that time no matter what you try child will not settle down. But after few minutes child will return back to sleep and calm down.

Kids will not remember anything when they wake up in the morning (unlike nightmare where kids remember most of the dream or something).

 night terror

What Causes Night Terrors?

Night terrors are caused by over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS) during sleep. It can happen as the brain is still maturing in young kids. Some genetic factor could be there as in more than 80% of cases one of the family member might have experience some form of sleep disturbance (i.e sleep walking or night terror etc).

Night terrors are more commonly seen in children:

  • Who are in some form of stress or ill
  • Who are fatigued or overtired
  • Who are sleeping away from home or in new environment
  • Who have just started taking some new medication

Incidence:  3- 6% of young children may have night terror (whereas almost every kid has a nightmare once in a while). More common in boys

Age: 4- 12 years (but has been reported in kids as young as 18 months).

Prognosis:  They disappear on their own once the nervous system of brain matures. Some children might have only one episode whereas some have multiple episodes before they stop.

 

Toddler Girl closing her eyes in the bed, perhaps she is seeing bad dreams.

How to Cope With Night Terrors as parents?

  • Keep calm: It can be very upsetting for parents, as they start feeling guilty sometimes as they are not able to comfort or calm their kid during episode of night terror.
  • Be patient and wait it out. Child will settle down in few minutes and will go back to sleep on their own.
  • Provide safe environment for child during might terror (so that child doesn’t hurt himself or others during the episode).
  • Do not try to wake up child: It does not help, it can make things worse; once they has woken up , he/she will be disoriented and confused and may take longer to settle down and go back to sleep.

Treatment:

No treatment for night terrors is available, but we can help prevent them by following these steps.

  • Have a good bedtime routine (try to stick to it during non school days too)
  • Try to reduce your child’s stress
  • Bedtime routine should be simple and relaxing like reading story books, dim light etc
  • Make sure your child gets enough rest
  • Prevent your child from becoming overtired by staying up too late

Understanding night terrors can reduce your worry — and help you get a good night’s sleep yourself.

But if night terrors happen repeatedly, talk to your child doctor, if needed a referral to a sleep specialist can be taken (Besides we need to rule out other brain abnormality).

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

Disciplining kids; Are you too tough ?

How to Discipline kids

 

Common questions by parents:

Parents have noticed that the more sternly they speak to their kids — for example, after they’ve run into the busy street with vehicles around; without looking here and there  the more distraught they get. How can we make sure they understand the seriousness of certain situations without making them feel worse?

 

Solution:

As the saying goes, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” When your child’s safety is at risk — whether he’s run into the street, reached for an open flame, or gotten dangerously close to a pool — yelling, screaming, or crying out is a perfectly normal (and necessary!) response. After all, at that moment, you would do anything possible to get your child’s attention and get him out of harm’s way.

After an episode like this, it’s natural for kids to cry — and for you to want to apologize. But the truth is, your kids are likely crying in response to the fear and urgency in your voice, not because you’ve been “too stern.” At times like these, it’s OK to comfort them without apologizing. Give your child a hug and say something like, “I know you’re upset. But what you did was dangerous and I was scared that you were going to get hurt. You must never do that again.” Punishing kids after an event like this is usually not necessary, since they’ve probably learned their lesson.

On the other hand, there are times when being too stern — like yelling regularly for minor offenses — can backfire. Kids can become immune to parents’ overblown reactions and fail to take them seriously. If you feel yourself getting into this habit, take a deep breath before responding to your child’s behavior and ask yourself, “Am I about to overreact?” If so, walk away for a few minutes and come back when you’ve calmed down.

In general, when it comes to disciplining kids, it’s best to speak with a low, firm voice and to keep your focus on the behavior, not the child. It’s also helpful to use natural consequences whenever possible. That means if your child has thrown a toy, ask her to pick it up. If she’s taken something from her sibling, ask her to return it. If she chooses not to comply, an age-appropriate timeout or other consequence should follow, despite tearful pleas. Consistency is the key to effective discipline, and giving in to a child’s tears may inadvertently reinforce negative behavior.

 

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

Coping with Stress in Kids

 

How to cope with stress in Kids?

Question: To many of us, childhood might seem a very carefree time without any stress. Kids do not have to pay bills, think about job, relationship etc. SO what could kids be worried about?

Answer: Plenty!!!

Every kid worries a lot and has plenty to stress about.

Source of Stress for kids:

  • Sepration Anxiety: When starts going to day care to preschool
  • Too busy a schedule for kids: Many parents overschedule their kids with lots of extracurricular activities (many a times to fulfill their dreams rather than kids)
  • Parental discord or distress: Parents should watchful when they discuss their professional issues or personal issues at home when kids are nearby (as kids are always watching or listening).
  • Media/ TV Screen: media can provide disturbing videos or images which can cause distress to the child.

 

Let your kids know that you understand they’re stressed and don’t dismiss their feelings as inappropriate.

As a parent, you can’t protect your kids from stress — but you can help them develop healthy ways to cope with stress and solve everyday problems.

Signs/ Symptoms:

  • Change in moods, change in sleep pattern, bed wetting, thumb sucking , change in academic performance etc
  • Some kids might even complaint of stomachache or bodyache too

 

Kids deal with stress in both healthy and unhealthy ways. And while they may not initiate a conversation about what’s bothering them, they do want their parents to reach out and help them cope with their troubles.

How to manage stress in kids?

It’s not always easy for parents to know what to do for a child who’s feeling stressed.

Most important is to spend Quality time with your kids. By quality time I mean doing what kids want, rather than making them do what is easier for you.

Proper rest and good nutrition will help in coping with stress better.

Some of the things which you can try are:

  • Notice out loud.Tell your child when you notice that something’s bothering him or her. If you can, name the feeling you think your child is experiencing. (“It seems like you’re still mad about what happened at the playground.”) This shouldn’t sound like an accusation (as in, “OK, what happened now? Are you still mad about that?”) or put a child on the spot. It’s just a casual observation that you’re interested in hearing more about your child’s concern. Be sympathetic and show you care and want to understand.
  • Listen to your child.Ask your child to tell you what’s wrong. Listen attentively and calmly — with interest, patience, openness, and caring. Avoid any urge to judge, blame, lecture, or say what you think your child should have done instead. The idea is to let your child’s concerns (and feelings) be heard. Try to get the whole story by asking questions like “And then what happened?” Take your time. And let your child take his or her time, too.
  • Comment briefly on the feelings you think your child was experiencing.For example, you might say “That must have been upsetting,” “No wonder you felt mad when they wouldn’t let you in the game,” or “That must have seemed unfair to you.” Doing this shows that you understand what your child felt, why, and that you care. Feeling understood and listened to helps your child feel supported by you, and that is especially important in times of stress.
  • Put a label on it.Many younger kids do not yet have words for their feelings. If your child seems angry or frustrated, use those words to help him or her learn to identify the emotions by name. Putting feelings into words helps kids communicate and develop emotional awareness — the ability to recognize their own emotional states. Kids who can do so are less likely to reach the behavioral boiling point where strong emotions come out through behaviors rather than communicated with words.
  • Help your child think of things to do.If there’s a specific problem that’s causing stress, talk together about what to do. Encourage your child to think of a couple of ideas. You can start the brainstorming if necessary, but don’t do all the work. Your child’s active participation will build confidence. Support the good ideas and add to them as needed. Ask, “How do you think this will work?”
  • Listen and move on.Sometimes talking and listening and feeling understood is all that’s needed to help a child’s frustrations begin to melt away. Afterward, try changing the subject and moving on to something more positive and relaxing. Help your child think of something to do to feel better. Don’t give the problem more attention than it deserves.
  • Limit stress where possible.If certain situations are causing stress, see if there are ways to change things. For instance, if too many after-school activities consistently cause homework stress, it might be necessary to limit activities to leave time and energy for homework.
  • Just be there.Kids don’t always feel like talking about what’s bothering them. Sometimes that’s OK. Let your kids know you’ll be there when they do feel like talking. Even when kids don’t want to talk, they usually don’t want parents to leave them alone. You can help your child feel better just by being there — keeping him or her company, spending time together. So if you notice that your child seems to be down in the dumps, stressed, or having a bad day — but doesn’t feel like talking — initiate something you can do together. Take a walk, watch a movie, shoot some hoops, or bake some cookies. Isn’t it nice to know that your presence really counts?
  • Be patient.As a parent, it hurts to see your child unhappy or stressed. But try to resist the urge to fix every problem. Instead, focus on helping your child, slowly but surely, grow into a good problem-solver — a kid who knows how to roll with life’s ups and downs, put feelings into words, calm down when needed, and bounce back to try again.

 

Parents can’t solve every problem as kids go through life. But by teaching healthy coping strategies, you’ll prepare your kids to manage the stresses that come in the future.

Most parents have the skills to deal with their child’s stress. The time to seek professional attention is when any change in behavior persists, when stress is causing serious anxiety, or when the behavior causes significant problems at school or at home.

 

(Many of the above lines are copied from various other website. The purpose of this article is to create awareness among parents).

 

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

New to Nursery ? Helping kids adjust to school

school kids

New Season of School has started in most schools in India. Lots of parents must be sending their little angels to big school for the first time. Most parents and kids would be excited and many would be nervous.

Few tips regarding our young kids while sending them to school for the first time:

  • Get them mentally prepared. Tell them positive things about school. Your kids should be excited to go to school rather than being scared or apprehensive about it.
  • Tell them you are just around the corner and will come whenever needed. And during school hours their teachers will take care of them.
  • Separation Anxiety is integral part of development which needs to dealt with patiently. Separation anxiety in kids
  • BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day. Make sure that your child as well as you have it together in the morning. A healthy breakfast will boost your immunity as well bonding with your kids.
  • Encourage them and support them at every step.
  • Talk to your child; try to spend quality time with your kids. LISTEN to them rather and ask them open-ended questions.
  • Let them open up to you. They might not be able to express things well and might be emphasizing on very small things which you might find not important. But remember, for them these small things might be more important than you think. And it will encourage them to share more important things with you once they grow up.
  • Show them that you are listening intently. Maintain eye to eye contact with them as they talk.
  • Talking daily and discussing things as a daily routine will help you tackle BULLYING in school as well.
  • Educate kids regarding Good touch and Bad touch to guard them against Sexual harassment. Discuss with kids regularly and ask them to talk to you whenever anyone touches them in private parts. 

    Prevent Against Sexual abuse in Children

  •  Most important is to go with the flow and do not worry too much. Have faith in your abilities.
  • Try to inculcate good habits in your kids and always lead by example.

 

Feel free to contact your child specialist or MAYA CLINIC, regarding any queries

regards

Dr Rahul Varma

Is your child hyper active or difficult to manage??

Is your child hyper active or difficult to manage??

All children between 18 to 24 months should be screened for hyperactivity and Behavioral disorders like Autism etc. (as per recommendation of American Academy of Pediatrics).
It can be easily done in OPD setting using M- chat (23 point Questionnaire). it takes hardly 10- 15 minutes.. If positive, child can be referred to Child developmental specialist for detailed work up.
It is available at Maya clinic (No extra charges).

Feel free to discuss with our child specialist/Pediatrician.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screening all children for autism at the 18 and 24-month well-child visits in addition to regular developmental surveillance. This type of screening can identify children with significant developmental and behavioral challenges early, when they may benefit most from intervention, as well as those with other developmental difficulties. For screening to be effective, it must be applied to all children – not only those with Symptoms.

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT): In most offices, pediatricians use the M-CHAT, a 23-point questionnaire filled out by parents. Most families find it easy to fill out. Using this standardized screening, pediatricians can pick up children at risk for ASD and will be prompted to start conversations about language delay, concerns about behavior, or possible next steps for a child at risk with additional genetic , neurologic, or developmental testing.

Screening Isn’t Diagnosing!

It’s important to note that screening isn’t diagnosing. If your child has a positive screen for an ASD, it doesn’t mean he or she will be diagnosed on the spectrum. And further, if your child screens normally but you continue to worry about ASD, don’t be shy. Screening tests are just that—screening—and don’t identify all children with ASD. The rate of success for the M-CHAT, for example, isn’t 100%, so it is used in combination with health and family history to identify children at risk. Your opinions as a parent are irreplaceable and of the most importance.

If You Are Concerned and Your Child Has Not Been Formally Screened:

Talk with your pediatrician about doing a formal screening. Many screening tools are available.

 

regards

Dr Rahul Varma

bully (mayaclinic.in)

How to stop bullying in Children?

bully (mayaclinic.in)

Bullying is so commonly seen among children these days. We need to take a strong stand against bullying. It can ruin someone’s entire life; it can damage self esteem of a child.

Good thing is that people in the community have started recognizing it and lots of efforts are being made at different levels to prevent bullying.

what is bullying

Few basic strategies which can help in preventing Bullying of your child are:

  • Discuss and talk about it: Discuss with your children and family about this topic of bullying. Share your experience, may be your child will open up easily after it. Praise your kids, if he/ she open up and provide unconditional love and support to them.
  • Consult with School Staff: Discuss with teachers and counselors at school regarding their policies on bullying and how do they tackle it, if a case arises.
  • Remove the bait: If bullying is occurring due to a money which child carry for lunch or any fancy gadget which your child is carrying; then stop it. Remove anything which your kids think is the root cause of bullying. Never shy away from discussing with school teacher.
  • Have a Buddy for your child: Having a safety buddy with whom your kid feel safe will be a good option. Tell your child to have a buddy with them; whenever they think the bully may strike like in school bus, washrooms, empty corridors etc.
  • Try to Ignore and keep calm: Bully feel satisfied if they see you getting frustrated and irritated; it gives them a high. If you do not react to bullies, it takes away the basic pleasure for which bully is doing it. SO your child’s best chance is to ask the bully to stop it and walk away from there. And if needed report to appropriate person/authority soon after.
  • Do not try to battle it out on your own: Many a times you might need to involve the parents of the bully. But do it in presence a counselor who can mediate.
  • Be confident; bullies don’t like people who are not afraid.

bullying stop  stop bullying 2

Discussion and supporting your child through this tough phase is the key. Spending quality time with your child will help them to open up with you.

Feel free to talk to your pediatrician or child psychologist regarding this issue.

Bullying 1

 

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

 

 

My child is hyperactive; what should i do ? Could it be ADHD

adhd

A typical child with ADHD

Child with ADHD will not be able to focus or sustain interest for more than few minutes in toys or any activity. Kids with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what’s expected of them but have trouble following through because they can’t sit still, pay attention, or focus on details. Teachers comment about his inattention and disruptive behavior in class. These symptoms are present over a longer period of time and happen in different settings. They hamper a child’s ability to function socially, academically, and at home.

adhd -     images (1)

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common types of behavioral disorders in children. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors and are hyperactive. It is important that these features are present in more than 2 settings (i.e. at home, school, play area etc). It feels as if they are “driven by a motor” or “are always on the go”.

Age of onset: less than 7 years with more common in boys

Symptoms:

images (2)

Inattention
  • Often has a hard time paying attention, daydreams
  • Often does not seem to listen
  • Is easily distracted from work or play
  • Often does not seem to care about details, makes careless mistakes
  • Frequently does not follow through on instructions or finish tasks
  • Is disorganized
  • Frequently loses a lot of important things
  • Often forgets things
  • Frequently avoids doing things that require ongoing mental effort
Hyperactivity
  • Is in constant motion, as if “driven by a motor”
  • Cannot stay seated
  • Frequently squirms and fidgets
  • Talks too much
  • Often runs, jumps, and climbs when this is not permitted
  • Cannot play quietly
Impulsivity
  • Frequently acts and speaks without thinking
  • May run into the street without looking for traffic first
  • Frequently has trouble taking turns
  • Cannot wait for things
  • Often calls out answers before the question is complete
  • Frequently interrupts others

 

Cause: ADHD is not caused by poor parenting, too much sugar, or vaccines. Exact cause is still not known but there is possible genetic and environmental links.

Diagnosis:

For diagnosis detailed evaluation by developmental pediatrician/child psychologist is done. Various Checklist and Performa are developed in this regards. It involves besides clinical observation of child; detail history from parents, teachers or other caregiver.

Medical examination (including hearing and vision) to rule out other problems may be needed sometimes.

adhd -ss

What can you do as a parent?

Talk with your child’s doctor. If you or your doctor has concerns about ADHD, you can take your child to a specialist such as a child psychologist or developmental pediatrician.

Treatment of ADHD

ADHD can’t be cured, but it can be successfully managed. Aim is to help child to learn to control his or her own behavior and to help families create an atmosphere in which this is most likely to happen.

Combination of Medication and behavior therapy is needed in most cases. Plan of management will include multidisciplinary approach (pediatrician, child developmental specialist, child psychologist, behavior therapist etc) with close follow up and monitoring.

Medications help to curb impulsive behavior and attention difficulties and are more effective when combined with behavioral therapy.

adhd tt

This therapy attempts to change behavior patterns by:

  • reorganizing a child’s home and school environment
  • giving clear directions and commands
  • setting up a system of consistent rewards for appropriate behaviors and negative consequences for inappropriate ones

adhd sss

Here are few examples of behavioral strategies that may help a child:

  • Create a routine. Following a proper schedule day in and day out help child and they know what is going to follow so their anxiety level is less. You can make a schedule or time table and put in important places in house, so that your child can see what is expected of him.
  • Organize yourself and your home well, so that everything is kept at its regular place, so that less chances of losing things like schoolbag, cloths.
  • Try to avoid distractions as far as possible; especially while doing homework etc
  • Do not give too many choices to baby. We should limit choices, so that it is easier for children to make decision.
  • Give brief and clear instructions to children. Do not speak ambiguous words or open ended statements, which can lead to confusion in child’s mind.
  • Rewards can be helpful in these children.
  • Like all illnesses, patience is the key
  • Parents should lead by example and behave properly in front of children.

  download

For further reading click on the link:  http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

How to prevent children from Drowning?

watch kids

Facts about drowning:

Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two will be children aged 14 or younger. Drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years

It is responsible for 7% of all injury-related deaths. Children are more at risk of drowning.

download (1)

What is drowning?

Drowning is caused by submersion or immersion of body in water leading to difficulty in breathing which may result in death.

001-Signs-of-Drowning-Pic

What are Risk factors ?

  • Age: more common in young children
  • Sex: more in males due to risk taking behavior
  • Access to water: living near ponds or other water source, unsupervised children near pool or even in bathroom small kids can drown in bathtub or bucket.
  • Flood disasters is another cause of death.
  • Travelling on water: in overcrowded boats, influence of alcohol.
  • Other: lower socioeconomic status, infants left unsupervised or alone with another child around water, alcohol use, near or in the water, medical conditions, such as epilepsy,tourists unfamiliar with local water risks and features.

 images (4)

Prevention

  • Education and creating awareness in society.
  • Protective gears and supervision while swimming.
  • Fencing of swimming pool, presence of lifeguard.
  • Strict laws for transport safety on water
  • Early Prediction and better management of floods and other natural disasters.
  • School teaching regarding water safety, swimming etc
  • Community-based, supervised child care for pre-school children can reduce drowning risk and has other proven health benefits. Teaching school-age children basic swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills is another approach.safety kids
  • Effective policies and legislation are also important for drowning prevention.
  • Developing a national water safety strategy

lifegaurd

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

 

Sleep_hygiene

My baby not sleeping well at night? what to do.

Sleep Hygiene for children

Sleep_hygiene

 

To put child to sleep might be a big task for some of the parents. Young kids and children always are interested in playful activities and making them sleep on time might be difficult for many parents. Children have different sleeping time in different phases of life. The total duration of sleep decreases as child grows older.

YourChildsSleep_graphic

Following are the things which you can do so that your baby sleeps well. And it will also prevent development of sleep disorders later.

 little-girl-sleeping-(mayaclinic.in)

  1. Set bedtime and bedtime routine for your children. It will help adjust their body clock and they will be better prepared mentally and prevent development of sleep disorders.
  2. Bedtime and wake up time should be same on school and non school nights. Change in schedule is very common over weekends as children are allowed late nights by many parents. It is always better to follow a fixed pattern. Body adapts well to it.
  3. Hour before bed time should be quiet time. An hour prior to sleep should be winding up time and preparing to sleep in quiet and comfortable environment. Best time to sit back and discuss with your children regarding day’s activity or best is story telling time.   Father Watching His Infant Sleep
  4. Do not send your child hungry to bed. If child is empty stomach it will hamper proper sleep. So a light meal before sleep is best in order to avoid child waking up at middle of night.
  5. Avoid products with caffeine for few hours prior to sleep. It can delay the sleep. Avoid too much of liquid intake few hours prior to sleep. It can increase the urge to pass urine during night and disturb the sleep. It is more important in children with bed wetting issues.
  6. Outdoor Physical activity daily. Regular physical exercise is not only important for growth and development of child but also for to induce proper sleep.  sleeping child
  7. Bedtime quiet and dark. Bright light or loud music and disturb initiation of sleep. It is best to have night lamp or dim light in case your child is afraid of dark.
  8. Comfortable temperature. Ambient temperature is needed for good sound sleep. But if the temperature is too cold or too hot it will interfere with proper sleep.
  9. Bedroom only for sleeping, not for time out or punishment. Bedroom should be meant for sleeping only and all the other playful activities should be done in other room.
  10. No TV in bedroom.  TV / laptop/ computers are absolute no for bedroom. It distracts children a lot and prevents them to go to sleep.

 sleep hygiene 2

 Just to summaries about all the steps in one photo, read the below info-graphic.

10-tips-for-better-sleep

If we do not follow proper sleep hygiene steps for children, it can increase the chances of Sleep disorders like sleep terror, insomnia, parasomnia etc. Various sleep disorder we will discuss later in other article.

 

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

“Healthy kids, Happy Family”

 

Breath-holding spells

Breath-holding spells

 best 

Your child cries, and stops breathing, and almost turns blue. It is one of the scariest situations for parents. The episode seems life threatening but in reality, it is relatively benign (not serious). And it does not pose any risk to the health of the child.

It’s a very challenging situation for the caregiver, and needs to be handled with patience rather than panic. One thing which parents need to understand is that breath-holding spells are an involuntary reflex. The episodes usually last less than a minute (though it may seem like ages to the anxious parent), and after that the child regains consciousness and starts breathing normally.

Usual age of occurrence is from 6 months to 6 years but they can occur at earlier age too. Few cases have been reported in newborns also, but in such small babies, other factors need to be ruled out. Family history may be positive in some cases.

Episodes typically start after excessive crying.  Children usually outgrow this disease by the time they start going to school.

Breath holding spells are of two types

  • Cyanotic:  Child turns blue in face
  • Pallid:       Child turns pale, almost white

In both the cases the child stops breathing and loses consciousness for few seconds. In very rare cases seizures might occur, but these are benign and do not cause any long term harm.

Breath-Holding-Spell-1024x614 

What to do if your child stopped breathing during a spell

  • Stay calm
  • While your child is in the brief unconscious phase, just check she is safe and has fallen flat on the ground
  • Remove any sharp object in vicinity which can cause damage to child.
  • Once she is awake, try to appear normal and unaffected by the whole thing.

When to See your Child Doctor

  • After first episode
  • These episodes are not harmful but proper check up and investigations might be needed to rule out underlying medical condition.
  • Consult your child specialist to determine triggers of spell and to know how to prevent future spells and how to deal with it if it happens again.

1

How to prevent Future Spells

  • Try to prevent the trigger
  • You should try not to give in to tantrums of children
  • No special attention after spells, otherwise in a way we might reinforce the behavior.
  • Iron supplementation might help in decreasing the incidence, more so if child is anemic.
  • Reassure yourself and find a way to discipline your child in a way that does not provoke another spell
  • As the child grows old he develops better coping skills
  • With experience, courage and guidance from your child specialist you should be able to provide a safe and structured environment to your child.
  • In some cases when episodes are very frequent, some medications (like Piracetam) might be needed. But in most cases it can be avoided.

 holdingbreath_big

Condition that should be ruled out

  • Heart conditions with rhythm disturbances like Arrhythmia etc via ECG or ECHO.
  • Anemia (Get Hemoglobin done)
  • Seizure like episodes and Seizure Disorder.

 

Feel free to contact Maya Clinic for any queries or discuss with your pediatrician.

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma