It is when a person loses consciousness for a brief period.
It lasts for just a few seconds or minutes.
What causes it? Sometimes, the cause is not known. Fainting can happen when there is not
enough oxygen reaching the brain. A sudden drop in blood pressure can cause
fainting. Fainting can be caused by
standing up fast
working or playing hard, especially if it's hot
breathing fast (hyperventilating)
being very upset, which can affect blood pressure
reactions to some medication
straining while urinating or having a bowel movement
turning your head to the side
a drop in blood sugar (common in people with diabetes)
drugs, such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine
pressure on the neck (such as from a tight collar)
severe pain from an injury
being very scared
a variety of disorders
Who can get it?
A person of any age can faint.
Fainting as the result of a sudden drop in blood pressure is common in older
Children who faint will often outgrow the problem.
What are the symptoms?
People often feel lightheaded or dizzy before fainting.
People may also feel warm, sick to their stomach, or have changes in vision.
People may become pale before they faint.
How is it treated?
Fainting is fairly common and not usually serious.
Call the doctor if you think your child has fainted from a serious condition,
such as a heart problem or diabetes.
Call if you are concerned about why your child fainted.
Call if your child fainted because of an injury.
The doctor will want to know how your child felt before he fainted and what
he was doing.
In some cases, the doctor may want to take special tests.
What if I feel lightheaded?
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy may be a sign that your child is going to faint.
If your child feels lightheaded, have him lie down.
If your child can't lie down, have him sit down and bend forward. He should
put his head between his knees.
Cool the room down.
Your child should stay seated or lying down until he feels better.
When he feels better, have him slowly stand up.
Can fainting be prevented?
If your child feels lightheaded, have him sit or lie down immediately.
If your child has fainted before, teach him how to avoid those situations.
Teach your child to avoid suddenly standing up. He should move around a
little and shake his limbs before standing slowly up.
When should I call the doctor?
Call your doctor if you think your child fainted from a reaction to medicine,
a heart problem, diabetes,
Call the doctor if he had these symptoms before fainting; irregular heartbeat,
chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden fainting without warning, blurred
vision, confusion, spinning room, or trouble speaking.
Call the doctor if your child faints more than once in a month.
Call the doctor if he often faints and people in your family also have a
history of fainting or sudden death.
Call the doctor if the feeling of being lightheaded will not go away.
Call the doctor if you have questions or concerns about your child's treatment
Fainting is when a person loses consciousness for a brief period.
Sometimes, the cause is not known. Fainting can be caused by a sudden drop
in blood pressure or if not enough oxygen is getting to the brain.
A person of any age can faint.
People often feel lightheaded, dizzy, or sick to their stomach before fainting.
If you have any concerns about why your child fainted, talk to the doctor.
If your child feels lightheaded, it could be a sign that he might faint.
Have him lie down or sit down until he feels better.
To prevent fainting, help your child avoid situations that cause him to
faint. For example, avoid extreme exercise on a hot day or avoid standing
Call the doctor if your child faints more than once in one month.
American Heart Association. Syncope. http://188.8.131.52/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4749/
2002 (cited 2002 May 9).
Family Doctor. Fainting: What Causes It. American Academy of Family Physicians.
http://familydoctor.org/ 2002 March (cited 2002 May 9).
MEDLINEplus: Medical Encyclopedia. Fainting. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ 2001
December 03 (cited 2002 May 9).
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