Snoring, Sinus & ENT Specialist

Sleep & Children

Does your child snore?

Did you know that as high as 20% or 1 in 5 children snore nightly and 30% or more snore occasionally? This may be caused by nasal congestion, blocked nose, allergic rhinitis or enlarged adenoid and tonsils.

Be aware of your child's sleep and snoring patterns by charting a snore log if necessary. Watch out for things like allergies that could possibly cause or worsen your child's snoring. If you suspect something to be abnormal, see your doctor or sleep specialist.

Children who struggle to breathe while sleeping may suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). In these cases you may hear a snort or gasp for air as they snore and their chest may appear to "suck in". OSA is described as cessation of breathing while asleep. The stoppages in breathing are usually caused by the airway being partially or completely collapsed during sleep.

How do I know if my child’s snoring is serious?

Sleep specialists commonly place snoring into two categories, primary snoring and snoring associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Simple snoring is considered "normal" and is not harmful. Children with OSAS will typically experience some difficulty sleeping at night and behavioral problems during the day. Undiagnosed OSA has physical, mental and social impact on the child. The child may encounter problems in school; poor school results, delayed growth and development, and even heart failure. Although OSA is more commonly seen in boys, it can affect girls as well.

Sleep apnea may be present in children who are overweight and those who have enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Children with sleep apnea may snore, have difficulty breathing and interrupted sleep. Older children who have sleep apnea may seem sluggish and may perform poorly in school. Sometimes they are labeled "slow", "lazy”, or children with “learning problems”.

Because some of these symptoms are similar to those described in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), some children are misdiagnosed as having ADHD when they are actually suffering from OSA.

How do I know my child has Sleep Apnea?

  1. Frequent loud snoring with short periods of stoppages in breathing during the night, followed by snorting, gasping for air or completely waking up
  2. Restless or wakeful sleep at night
  3. Difficulty waking up, even though it seems that he/she has had adequate sleep
  4. Headaches in the morning, or often during the day
  5. Falling asleep or excessive daydreaming
  6. Irritable, aggressive or cranky
  7. Poor school results, performance or other behavioural problems

If you have noticed some of the above symptoms in your child, or if you are not sure if your child has sleep apnea, you should consult a sleep specialist today.

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