My 2-year-old recently started to hold his breath when he doesn't get what
he wants, and it terrifies me. Is this normal? – LaVonne
As frightening as it might be when your son holds his breath, it's actually quite
common among toddlers — and is likely to be more alarming to you than it is
dangerous for him.
The best response to such behavior is to make sure he is safe, keep him lying down
on his side, and try to stay relaxed. Most kids outgrow breath-holding episodes by
the time they're 5 or 6 years old.
Occasionally, kids may pass out for 30–60 seconds during a breath-holding
spell. If this happens, talk with your doctor to be sure nothing more serious
is going on. The doctor might want to test for anemia,
which is sometimes associated with breath holding. When the anemia is treated, kids
are often less likely to pass out when holding their breath.