M.F. from Utah asked about her child who, when she cried, would stop breathing, turn blue around her lips, and nearly pass out.
The cry or throw a tantrum, don’t breathe, turn blue, and pass out maneuver of children is actually very common. It is called breath-holding. While it can be very scary to witness, it’s generally not something to be overly concerned about. As soon as your child faints, he or she will start breathing normally, and the episode resolves. The key to making the behavior stop is how you react. When your child cries and holds his or her breath, do NOT over react–sometimes easier said than done. The over-reaction only reinforces the tantrum breath-holding behavior. When (or if) your child passes out, keep her safe (make sure she doesn’t fall, and ensure she can breathe) and calmly wait for her to wake up. This usually takes 30-60 seconds.