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BabyMD3
BabyMD3, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 41
Experience:  Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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My 2.5 year old daughter had what seemed to be a mini episode.

Customer Question

My 2.5 year old daughter had what seemed to be a mini episode. . She was fine the suddenly she went pale, stopped breathing and her eyes rolled back.. It lasted a couple of seconds then she started crying.. she was at nursery so the nurse gave her chocolate after as they thought her blood pressure may have gone down. What could have caused it and should I be concerned?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Paediatrics
Expert:  BabyMD3 replied 3 years ago.

BabyMD3 :

Hello! I would like to help you with your question.

BabyMD3 :

Do you know what was happening immediately before this episode? For instance, was she crying or upset somehow before the episode occurred? Was she ill at all?

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

Hi.. she was playing in the baby gym as per the nurse's instructions.she had a cough lately and a little blocked nose but nothing out of the ordinary

BabyMD3 :

Was she upset or startled at all prior to the episode?

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

No she was fine as per my knowledge. I was told that she was pale in the morning and she wasn't her active self. But when she was home before going to nursery she was herself

BabyMD3 :

The reason that I am asking is to help distinguish what kind of episode this actually was. There is a phenomenon known as a Breath Holding Spell where a toddler is startled or upset and crying and, in turn, holds their breathe for a few moments and then "pass out". It is a very scary but common occurrence that can happen repeatedly without any consequence. However, there is also a possibility of a small seizure especially if she were a little ill. No fever correct?

BabyMD3 :

If you can clarify with the caregiver that nothing happened immediately prior to the episode that could have triggered a Breath Holding Spell, then I would take her in to her Dr to evaluate her for or rule out a possible seizure.

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

She did sleep longer than usual today.. no fever.. I don't think she was upset

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

What can determine if it was a seizure? What measures can I take or next steps that I should take to check her?

BabyMD3 :

Sounds like she is a little ill which can lower your threshold for seizure activity and low blood sugar or blood pressure. The fact that she was crying immediately thereafter is reassuring but I would still have her evaluated to make sure that we are not missing anything...

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

What do you mean by lower your threshold for seizure

BabyMD3 :

A Dr can order some blood work if indicated but also an EEG (electroencephalogram) to evaluate her brain wave activity. It is a painless test where stickers are applied to her head (like and EKG on the chest) and the electrical impulses of the brain are measured painlessly….

BabyMD3 :

If, for example, a person with a known seizure disorder is ill, then the frequency of seizures may increase during the illness. In addition, young children up to about 6years old can have febrile seizures. We still aren't exactly sure why it happens but we do know that it tends to run in families and whenever the child has a temperature they will likely have seizures during that time. These febrile seizures are not dangerous at all but admittedly quite scary to parents and loved ones.

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

What should I do if it happens again at home

BabyMD3 :

Do your best to stay calm (easier said than done - I know), turn her her on her side and move any objects out of the way so that she can't hit and injure herself on them, try to look at a clock to see how long it lasts, observe for anything like strange movements of her body or eyes, color change in her skin. Do not stick anything in her mouth to pull her tongue out of the way as turning her on her side will take care of her tongue being in the way as it will fall forward and out of her airway. If it lasts 5 minutes or more, then call your local emergency rescue/ ambulance to take you to a local hospital for emergent evaluation if possible.

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

I just remembered the nurse's said they tried cpr

JACUSTOMER-ny0osvne- :

She keeps scratching her head.. I don't know if I'm being paranoid but is this a symptom of anything?

BabyMD3 :

hmm. Is she scratching near her ears?

BabyMD3 :

If she is scratching on or near her ears, perhaps she has an ear infection brewing? Having a cough and congested nose for a little bit can be a set up for a secondary ear infection especially if there have been changes as you described like sleeping more and not being her active self. Can you take her anywhere today to be examined?

BabyMD3 :

I see that you are offline now. I will change us to the Q & A mode so that you can continue to ask questions as you need.