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Breath holding is common, especially in children under six years of age. Breath holding spells can happen after your child has a fright, a minor accident, is frustrated or gets very upset. Breath holding is often called a 'spell' or an 'attack' and is most common in toddlers (one to two years of age). Most children grow out of breath holding by the time they reach the age of six. This fact sheet describes the causes, signs and symptoms and treatment options for breath holding.