Daughter panics~ need advice badly - FamilyEducation
Daughter panics~ need advice badly
12/19/2010 at 21:23 PM

Hi there, I have a 21 month old daughter who is generally well behaved. She will though panic over completely random things and when she panics she gets herself into a crying fit where she doesn't breath until she almost passes out.
This scares me and my husband so bad, she will lock her joints so she doesn't breath until she passes out unless we throw water on her(only thing that seems to truly get her attention when she's in panic mode).
We don't know how to prevent this or how to stop these panic attacks. She will do this either if she hurts herself(when any child would panic) or if she doesn't want to be put to bed etc.
I've looked all over and found nothing on this subject.
We don't know what to do....advice?

Tell her when she is calm (as best you can) that you are going to just let her be until she is finished crying when she cries. Then, for 2 weeks every time she starts crying remind her that you are going to let her try to relax on her own, make sure she is in a safe place, and walk out and shut the door. If you are in a public place, take her someplace more private, and ignore her. You may ask her if she would like a drink of water, sometimes that helps. If she hasn't changed her behavior after a couple of weeks, take her to the doctor.

This panic attitude is much different then her normal tantrums. When my daughter panics and chooses not to breath I have to act very fast otherwise she may pass out. I can't just walk away...she may be "calm" when I come back but it's because she'd be passed out on the floor.

Take her to a pediatrician.

I still think you need to walk away. She may very well pass out, but if this is an attention-seeking behavior, the quickest way to get her to stop doing it is for you to be really calm and walk away.

These can be triggered for many reasons: attention, not wanting to do something, genuine fear or panic.When my daughter was young and did this, I usually just blew into her face, it was always effective when she began to tantrum as she had to catch her breath. After which I walked away as not to continue to feed the desire for attention. Eventually she stopped. Some kids have genuine panic attacks and those situations need to be addressed by a professional, the school psychologist is often the path of least resistance and the most cost effective for a family, as you have a right to an evaluation at your child's school residence. If they are younger and not enrolled you still have the right (here in California anyway) to walk on services at the school closest to where you reside. A child needs to learn breathing techniques (as with Dr. Becky Baily) and needs reassurance that they are all right, breathe (sometimes the panic takes over and they forget to breathe)and they can handle it.