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Effective Spasms: What are they and how to behave?

Effective Spasms: What are they and how to behave?

It happens that the baby, usually in a whim, a desperate cry or perhaps as a result of a fall, has restrained his breath. The apnea situation lasts for a few seconds, then everything goes back to normal, except for the great fright of the parents. In medicine, they are called effective spasms (or effective apnea), we see exactly what they consist of and how best to behave.
Affective spasms are manifestations caused by temporary loss of breath due to a discomfort or anger. The onset age is between 6-8 months and 3 years and affects about 5% of children. As a result of acute tears, stiffness, shortness of breath and short loss of consciousness are produced.

Effective Spasms
Effective Spasms

Afflicted spasms are always due to some frustration. In younger children may be an automatic reaction and not aware of a discomfort or pain; In older children, it is easier than being a “command” reaction of the kind: if I do this, my mom listens to me and I’m content.


The character of the show is very scary in the parents, and the little ones know it well! The advice the experts give is, however, not to be frightened by the effective apnea episodes and, as far as possible, try to pretend nothing. In this way the child understands that it is not with these systems that you get the attention of mom.


If instead it is a small child and its reaction is automatic, it is advisable to blow it on the face of the baby or sprinkle it over a little water to stop the apnea and return to breathing. Even in this case, it is essential to show as much peace and serenity as possible to infuse child safety.

Parents’ greatest fear is that these episodes may be caused by other pathologies such as epilepsy, cardiac disorders or hyperactivity. As we have already said, effective spasms are caused by an episode of strong weeping or anger, and this is the main element that distinguishes it from other pathologies where crises also occur when the baby is calm or sleeps. However, if the episode occurs again, bring the baby to the pediatrician.


It’s very important that parents do not emphasize the episode, remembering that effective spasms are not dangerous, do not cause brain damage and tend to pass by themselves with the baby’s growth.


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