In detail

Spasm of crying

Spasm of crying


- I have a 6-month-old boy and I was told that he is 'scared of crying'. That is, when he cries very loudly he stops, does not breathe. Last time the crisis lasted about 1 min. The family doctor recommended to me- I make an encephalogram. My question is what are the causes for this disease and if the encephalogram at this age damages them. Thank you.


Spasm of crying is a medical syndrome that occurs in young children. It is characterized by brief loss of consciousness, arising from an intense crying crisis. The syndrome remains a mystery in medicine, as its exact causes are unknown.

It is certain that it is not dangerous for the health of children. However, doctors argue that parents need to know the triggering factors and symptoms specific to this medical condition, which is often confused with epilepsy, to know how to differentiate it from other conditions with organic pathology.

What are the symptoms of the syndrome or how do you recognize it?

Not every severe crying crisis of the child ends with the onset of this syndrome. Alina Pop Began, resident physician Anesthesia and Intensive Care, describes how a situation looks like when a child goes through the spasm of crying:

"Its characteristic is when the child cries in hiccups and suddenly apnea (stopping breathing) occurs, the child becomes pale or cyanotic (gets tired) and then loses consciousness for several seconds, up to 1-2 minutes. Always, after the spasm of crying, the baby will recover quickly, in a few minutes. "

The spasm of crying is divided into two types: blue and white (pale), each with its own set of manifestations:

The blue guy is the most common among children (60% of cases) and is characterized by:

  • intense crying (with tears streaming down the waterfall);
  • hiccups;
  • wheezing breath accompanied by sighs that make it difficult or even stop for a few seconds;
  • mouth waterfall and coloring of the face in a blue (cyanotic) hue;
  • the crisis ends by losing the price for a few seconds, due to insufficient irrigation of the brain (it may be accompanied by spasmodic movements or deviations of the eyeballs - in popular terms, it would mean that the little boy looks over his head and trembles) .

Sunrise shape it is much rarer, estimated to occur in about 20% of cases. Specific to this form is that the little boy does not cry at all before losing consciousness. On an intense or tense emotional background, the child instantly becomes pale (white) on the face and feet, priced for a few seconds.

The symptomatic picture of spasms of crying is very similar to other medical conditions. Most people confuse it with epilepsy, which is a neurological disorder. The doctor recommends that parents always make sure that the lipotimes that the child manifests do not have pathology of an organic nature.

"It is good to carry out the investigations requested by the doctor. The electroencephalogram (EEG) is a non-invasive and harmless exploration that records the bioelectric activity of the brain: some electrodes connected to a device will be applied to the skin, which will record the brain electrical discharges. It is the equivalent of the electrocardiogram (EKG) that is done for the electrical activity of the heart, "says the doctor.

What children are affected and when is it triggered?

Syndrome of crying can occur since the newborn stage and can occur in any small child, regardless of his health. But the doctor explains that these manifestations "are more common around the age of 3 and usually disappear by themselves at 5 years."

Although the exact causes of the spasm of crying have not been discovered, the specialists have identified some factors that contribute to its onset and which must be considered in diagnosing and establishing the therapeutic scheme.

"It seems that the syndrome has more to do with the psychological development of the child: these manifestations are the consequence of an exaggerated reaction to certain emotions, usually negative (frustrations, refusals, annoyances, etc.), of the child. This theory is also supported by the observation that , usually, these crises appear in the presence of a certain person, usually the mother, which can be interpreted as a "manipulation" unconsciousness, explains Alina Pop Began.

The most powerful conditions that the child can feel and which can lead to the onset of the syndrome are fear, pain or frustration.

Can this syndrome be prevented?

The syndrome is not effectively treated or cured, but can be prevented only after identifying the factors of psychological nature that underlie its triggering. The doctor argues that the psychotherapeutic approach is the main way of approaching this medical condition and aims to "determine and correct any conflicts and tensions in the mother-child relationship or in the family climate (anxiety or over-protection)."

Until the psychotherapeutic approach, there are some important things you need to do when your child goes through such a crisis, to help him recover faster and not be scared:

  • First of all, keep calm, to be able to react immediately and to help your child get out of the state of lipotemia (the syndrome creates a state of anxiety or panic accentuated by the parents, most of them being so scared that they cry when they see their child fainting or turning their eyes);
  • take the child in his arms and place it horizontally, on its back, with its legs slightly raised;
  • place a compress with cold water on his forehead and gently blow his face;
  • gently shout his name and gently slap him on the face and thighs to help him recover faster.

In case the child does not recover from the state of lipotemia in about 1-2 minutes, it is advisable to call to the rescue or go with him to the nearest hospital that has the guard room or emergency reception units for children.

Did you witness any crying crisis of the child that ended with a fainting caused by the crying syndrome? How did you help him recover faster? Have you identified the causes of these reactions? What measures have you taken? Tell us your opinions and tips in the comments section below!

Tags Children's emotions Children's affections Children's plan