Have you ever heard of Hair-Grooming Syncope? Chances are, you may not have. Well, yesterday a woman shared a viral post on Facebook warning people about this little-known condition and just how scary it can be to see up close. Alicia Brown Phillips shared a post that described her experience witnessing the condition when she was getting her little sister, Gracie, ready for church. According to Phillips, she was curling her little sister's hair when the child began to appear ill. They went to the bathroom and the little girl went pale with blue lips before fainting. She then proceeded to have seizure-like symptoms. After a trip to the hospital and a few tests, they discovered that what occurred was a case of "Hair-Grooming Syncope", a condition that seems to affect kids between the ages of 5 and 13.
This rare condition seems to cause fainting and symptoms that can mimic seizures in children, and it appears to be triggered by hair grooming. This includes brushing, braiding and curling the hair. This condition can affect both girls and boys, however because of the fact that most girls do more elaborate hair grooming it is seen more often in girls. While it isn't super common, according to Phillips' viral post the hospital claimed they see about 1-5 cases per year. That's enough that people should be aware it exist, in case they end up seeing it.
Apparently this condition might be a result of nerve stimulation on the scalp and blood pressure. In a post on Deseret News, a pediatrician stated that due to the time of day grooming occurs, people affected might also be dehydrated or hungry.
If you see this happening, it is advised to get your child to a seated position to ensure their safety in case they pass out. Phillips' posts says that they were advised by the hospital to take breaks if the child feels ill or dizzy while brushing.
So if your child claims that they aren't feeling well when you are grooming their hair, it's possible that they could be experiencing this condition. Get them seated, and monitor them before finishing their hair. Although it's rare, it is a good condition to be aware of. Just in case.