I’ve had my share of scares while babysitting: calls to Poison Control, car accidents, kids hiding from me, and unexpected trips to the doctor; yesterday however was a first.
I was was at Jaime’s yesterday afternoon and we were trying to get the kids ready to head to the gym. Shoes were almost all on, kids were milling around, Jaime was getting her stuff together…you know typical events when trying to get out of the house with four kids.
The twins were on the stairs heading down to the playroom when the boy tumbled down the last couple steps. When he got to the bottom he was mad (pretty sure his sister knocked him down!).
He was still screaming and had thrown himself on the stairs in protest so I went to pick him up, that’s when I realized something wasn’t right.
I rolled him over to pick him up and his eyes rolled back in his head and just looked out of it. I picked him up and he went limp in my arms.
I immediately told Jaime to call 911, something wasn’t right.
By the time I got back up the stairs he was fine. Crying which was the best sound in the world because it confirmed he was breathing. A HUGE sigh of relief for both myself and Jaime.
Jaime, by this time was on the phone with the 911 operator and we could hear sirens in the distance.
The medics came, checked him out and said he looked fine. After they left Jaime took the twins home and I hung back with the girls.
He turned out to be just fine . I had the opportunity to see him today at the beach and he was his normal goofy self.
Scary moment. Makes me so thankful we have 911 ready and able to help!
Updated 6/29/12 @ 10:35am:
After visiting the doctor, he was diagnosed with Breath Holding Syndrome, which I had never heard of, but now that I’m aware I’m surprised that more kids don’t (or they do and haven’t been diagnosed) have it.
Breath Holding Syndrome:
Childhood breath-holding conjures up an image of a stubborn toddler willfully holding his breath until he gets what he wants. The reality is quite different, however. The typical breath-holding episode begins when a child becomes upset, is startled, or suffers a minor injury, and then begins to cry. Crying may be brief or prolonged, but typically, after a few cries, the child becomes silent and apneic in what is described as noiseless expiration. This stage quickly is followed by a dramatic change in skin color. The skin becomes cyanotic or pallid or has a mixed-color appearance.
In simple BHS, the event resolves with no associated syncope or postural change. In severe BHS, however, subsequent loss of consciousness and change in postural tone do occur. Usually the child falls limp, and occasionally a few myoclonic jerks may be observed. In some cases, a brief period of increased muscle tone, or opisthotonos, may be seen after or instead of limpness.
The entire episode, which lasts from several seconds to more than a minute, may end with a sudden, deep inspiration or with the return of normal breathing. Especially with severe BHS, the child may be drowsy for a few moments before recovering completely and resuming normal activities.