Treating breath-holding spells

There's no specific treatment for blue breath-holding spells, but your child should have a thorough examination to check for any underlying problems, and an ECG to check for an irregular heartbeat .

Reflex anoxic seizures can respond to some specific medicines, but these are usually only offered in cases where the seizures occur very frequently and have a significant impact on family life.

These medicineswhich include glycopyrronium, atropine, and hyoscinecan cause a dry mouth , large pupils and other side effects. Ask your GP to refer your child toa specialist in childhood conditions (paediatrician) if you're concerned.

Your child's blood iron levels, such as ferritin, may also need to be checked and iron drops or tablets prescribed if levels are low.

Being a parent of a child with these seizures can be stressful, so see your GP if you're finding it difficult to cope. They may be able to give you some advice about things you can do to reduce stress,such as breathing exercises for stress .

You could also seek help from a specialist counsellor who can teach you parenting techniques to help you deal with your child's breath-holding episodes.


Try to distract your child if you think they're about to have an episode as this can sometimes prevent it happening.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018