Your child can’t breathe. She is holding her chest. She is starting to hyperventilate. She wants to go to the hospital. She feels like she is dying. You panic. She panics. Welcome to the world of panic attacks.

As a parent, you can feel helpless when your child is suffering from panic attacks. It can be scary for both of you. What should you do? How can you help?

Panic attacks are a physiological occurrence that can happen to people who suffer from anxiety. They can come on suddenly and without warning. Typically panic attacks can last ten to fifteen minutes, but the fear of having another one can be more debilitating than the panic attacks themselves. Although stress and anxiety can exacerbate the likelihood of having a panic attack, panic attacks can happen at any time – even during sleep.

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