Also known as: fainting.

What is syncope?

Syncope is the medical term for fainting which is a brief, temporary loss of consciousness.

What causes syncope? 

Syncope can have both mild and serious causes.Mild causes in children include dehydration (a drop in blood pressure reduces blood flow to the brain), fear, stress, pain, a hot or overcrowded room, heat exhaustion, a coughing spell, a hot shower  and certain medications/drugs. Serious medical conditions that can cause syncope include abnormal heart rhythms, or other problems with the heart (for example problems with the hearts’ valves or muscle).

What are the symptoms of syncope? 

Prior to the loss of consciousness, a child may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, become pale, feel hot or cold, sweat or feel nauseous, see spots in front of their eyes and notice their heart beating fast.

What are syncope care options? 

Syncope merits a visit to your pediatrician where more serious causes of fainting can be diagnosed and treated where necessary.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: January 12, 2022 04:45 PM