Although it is very common, watching toddlers holding their breath can be a frightful thing for a parent to experience. Some call it the ‘nuclear option’ in a child’s weaponry. About 20 percent of toddlers use this technique to express their discontent or to get what they want – and considering the effect, they often do.
These spells are usually part of a child’s temper tantrums. Here are a few common signs to look out for:
- Breathing out forcefully followed by holding breath for a long time
- Turning pale or blue
Even though this is a common tantrum it should be stringently discouraged. Here are a few tips on how to avoid a breath-holding tantrum in your toddler:
- Do not pay overmuch attention to such tantrums.
- Find out the possible cause behind such behavior and eliminate the cause.
- Try to divert your toddler’s attention to a pleasant situation making the toddler forget the whole idea of breath holding.
- Do not panic—toddlers may take advantage of the fact that you are scared and resort to tantrums more often to get what they want.
- Make your toddler lie down to increase the flow of blood to the brain and within seconds it will be alright.
- The first time this happens, you may consider taking your toddler to the doctor to ensure it is a breath-holding tantrum indeed.