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Why does my baby cry loudly and then lose consciousness?

Q: My son is now 10 months old and his growth is quite alright. Now a days quite frequently he is crying loudly and after that he is losing consciousness for some time. During this time his face becomes pale and he bites his cheek. He will slowly come to normal after 5 to 10 minutes. During this period he completely loses awareness. Immediately he is going to sleep for some time (1 to 2 hours). The frequency of this occurrence is more now a days (there was no such incident upto 6th month and only once in 7th and 8th month). Now it is 4th time in his 9th month. I am worried about this symptom. What is this disease? Is there any weakness in his nervous system? or is it fits? How can I survive my son from this attack? Whom should I consult either paediatrician or Neurologist? Kindly inform what first aid can be provided? Finally, my mother told that I am having similar problem during my child hood and she told that water was removed from my back (she is not sure). Is there any hereditary disease of this kind? Please help me.

A:From your description it appears that your 10 month old son is having "Breath Holding Spells", which usually occur between the age of 6 months to 2 years. It commonly occurs during a loud cry followed by cessation of breathing and the baby may turn blue or pale and gradually baby comes out of this episode. Mostly it happens during the first breath and very often if we are able to break the first holding of breath by physically stimulating the child by pinching, etc it does not occur. Breath holding spells are known to get worse if he has iron or calcium deficiency. I am sure your paediatrician shall be able to guide you regarding this, but if he feels these are not breath holding spells we should investigate to rule out if these are convulsions or fits. Breath holding spells are usually benign and self limiting over a period of time.

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