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Pediatrics/Nephew's behavior?


Hi, I help take care of my nephew, he is now 11 mo. old. Ever since he was about 2 mo. old he has been tensing up and holding his breath. He also holds out his arms as to be picked up while he does this. We have asked the regular Dr. and the clinic Dr. and they shrug it off to habit. But today while doing this he started to shake. He was laying on his back, arms out, breath held, and was shaking. He has never shook before. As soon as I picked him up he stopped. He does have is annual check up in about a month, but is this something we should worry about? He doesn't just break into this all the time, just when he's excited or want's to be held, or crying. Just a little concerned. Thank you! Kathy

Hi, Kathy,

Breath holding spells are common and ultimately harmless, even if they promote a brief seizure, which he probably is having.  Here is a great handout I use for my patients and hope it will explain this condition to you.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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