ask: When a child faints or passes out -- what could be the cause?

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My niece is 12. On about three or four occasions over the last year or two, she has passed out or fainted. Once was on the softball field; once was at school; once or twice was at home. In each time she was later found to

be either dehydrated or very fatigued; the most recent time she was also suffering from strep throat.

My sister, of course, is horribly concerned, and has taken her to a couple of doctors who have checked her daughter out. However, the consensus seems to be that "some kids do this" -- basically, that some children's bodies have this reaction to getting sick, overly fatigued or dehydrated.

Has anyone heard of this or had this experience? Will a child grow out of it? Is there a specialist we should be taking her to? What is actually going on in her body when she loses consciousness this way?

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EmpowHER Guest

It sounds like hypoglycemia in each case here I've heard. Its a severe drop in blood sugar caused by lack of food, water, sugar..causes mygraine headaches which start with lights covering vision or sounds filling ears...sometimes nausea and vomiting before blackout or after. I suffered with same symptoms for 10 years from 13 til 23 I am now 37. Every nowxand again with period I get lights and headache but haven't blacked out since I was 23. Good Luck.


May 25, 2015 - 8:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 13 and a half, very healthy, and very active. Almost every day when get up from sitting down for ten minutes or longer, I have to hold on to something for 20 seconds or so. My vision gets very blurred, my mouth and face get numb, I forget what's going on and I am unable to think about anything. Every month or so, just like this, I pass out and wake up on the floor with pain only a few moments later. Please tell me if you know what's going on?

April 27, 2015 - 7:52pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

We cannot tell you what is happening but you do need to talk to someone about this and be seen by a doctor. 



April 28, 2015 - 5:48am
EmpowHER Guest

Strokes and TIA (mini strokes) can happen in children. It seems to be becoming more common in younger people. A TIA stroke can happen from a chiropractor cracking your neck, turning your head too much in yoga, gymnastics or while weight training, resting your neck to far on a hairdressers sink, from vomiting... and lots of other reasons you would never think of. Even if the person feels fine when they get up after fainting, someone should call 911! If it is a stroke, the longer the delay in getting help, the worse a disability/brain damage can become. I just survived a TIA. I also recall being in high school and passing out on my teachers lap while waiting for my project to be reviewed. It made no sense. I didn't exert myself during class and had a good breakfast. I never got help and continued my day without problem. It makes me wonder if that could have been a TIA back them too. Strokes do run in my family, no telling how early they can start in someones life.

February 13, 2015 - 1:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 14 and have passed out 4 times since I started senior school, 3 times at school and 1 time at home. When I wake up, I don't remember what happened just before it happened which is so weird. The time I passed out at home, I fell onto my brothers bed and hit my head on the corner of the radiator then my body started to jolt, my mum thought I was laughing so she went to move me and I was dead weight and fell to the floor in a heap like 'a sack of potatoes' is what she told me when I woke up. After that I went to the doctors and had blood tests, ecg scans and was told I was fine, so I got referred to the hospital for a brain scan but the doctor at the hospital just dismissed me and told me to go home. Sometimes when I stand up I get very lightheaded and my vision blurs for about a minute and it just feels so dreadful. I definitely think that you should get her seen to as there could be an underlying condition or something like that. I don't want to scare you but it's always best just to be sure. Let's just hope your doctors are better than mine and actually take you seriously.

January 21, 2015 - 9:59am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am having the some issue going on with my son. He fell asleep in class three day in a row. First time it happen we rushed him to the ER.

March 20, 2015 - 1:22pm
EmpowHER Guest

Last night, my mom was fixing a long-sleeved sweater of mine I had on. All of the sudden, I got very hot and told her I was going to throw up. I yanked the sweater off (I had just a tank top underneath, not like another long-sleeve shirt)and ran to the bathroom as fast as I could, which was not easy. I kept blacking out and I was stumbling into the walls. I finally got into the bathroom and leaned over the toilet. My mom was running after me because she heard my loud thuds against the walls. She helped me get down on my knees and opened the door (which leads outside) so the cold air was blowing in. She was asking me if I was OK and called my dad to get me a cold washcloth. "I can't hear you!" I said (I think I was hyperventilating a little). "It sounds like you're talking through a walkie-talkie." The room was still spinning, but the cold 30 degree air was definitely helping. My mom was telling my dad how white I was. Eventually, about five minutes later, I was well enough to walk into the living room and lay down on the floor underneath the fan. About thirty minutes later, I was completely fine, no nausea or anything. It was the first time that had ever happened to me. I have experienced nausea/near throwing up experiences if I don't eat breakfast. I am a average, but more on the small size thirteen year old, and I'm very healthy. At the time, we were also watching the news, but it was boring stuff. I do not like having my own blood drawn, but I've seen the birth of my brother as well as my other brother's gunshot wound without feeling sick or faint. It was only about 10:30 at night when I "fainted". Any ideas/suggestions?

December 10, 2014 - 8:42am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

I'm sorry to read this happened to you - it's must have been quite frightening. 

Unfortunately, we are unable to guide readers until they are 14 and over.  Younger readers are encouraged to ask their parents about their concerns and see a doctor. 

You may have had food poisoning, you may not have eaten enough or have a virus. 

My advice is to have your parent take you to your doctor for an evaluation. Blood work may be involved but just wear headphones and tune it out - it literally takes 8-10 seconds. 



December 10, 2014 - 4:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

I’m 15 years old and I am a triplet. I am a girl with 2 brothers of which all of us are altar servers. I have never fainted while serving while one of my brothers has twice. One time in august and just yesterday, the 30th of November. My other brother has never fainted either. I’m very worried because I find it strange that he has fainted only in church & no where else. Also, he doesn't have low/high blood pressure or anything, hes very healthy. The first time he fainted, we took him to the emergency room, they ran all these tests and of course there was nothing wrong. But we did have to take him to get two root canals and his teeth bonds because he managed to break/ crack his two front teeth. The first time he fainted, he was standing up and all the sudden he fell and hit his mouth on the stairs.
The second time he fainted, yesterday, he was kneeling down on the stairs while the priest was preparing communion and all the sudden he fell back and hit the back of his head/neck. I was so terrified i ran over and was the first one at his aid. His eyes were open yet he was asleep. i managed not to cry as much as the last experience but immediately after the incident we left the church and decided not to take him to the ER. When we got in the car he complained about his vision being spotty and had a major headache. Then he began to throw up. He had a CAT scan and found nothing wrong with him.

December 3, 2014 - 9:25am
EmpowHER Guest

My ten yr old grandchild has done this 2 times both times she was worried had a clicks sound then passing out but it not very long she's overwght does someone hv one similar

November 20, 2014 - 5:37pm
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