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Go Ask Mom

Duke Medicine: When children faint

Posted October 10, 2011

When a child or teen faints, especially at school and in the presence of peers, it is often very upsetting to other children and can be a source of great embarrassment to the child who has fainted.

There are many causes of syncope -- the medical term for fainting -- in the young, and happily, most do not represent a life-threatening condition.

But less common -- and far more dangerous -- conditions may first show themselves as syncope. Because of this, children who have fainted need to be seen by a health care professional to rule out serious causes and to recommend therapy to limit or eliminate further fainting events.

Read more about what might cause a child to faint in the full post by Dr. Ronald J. Kanter, an associate professor of pediatrics and director of pediatric electrophysiology at Duke Medicine. His team takes care of infants, children, teenagers, and young adults who have or potentially have abnormal heart rhythms, pacemakers, or automatic defibrillators.


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  • shall6 Oct 11, 2011

    I'm so sorry for your loss pisgah ... but thank you so much for sharing your story ...


  • pisgah2005 Oct 11, 2011

    Our eight month old daughter had one episode of syncope, which was explained as a "breath holding spell" due to frustration. One month later, she died suddenly and unexpectedly of an undiagnosed cardiomyopathy, a condition usually manifested in early adulthood and which makes the news when previously healthy athletes drop dead on the basketball court or track. The syncope episode was our only warning sign that our daughter was not well. Please get your child checked out by a cardiologist if this happens.