Many of us have awoken in the middle of the night to the snores or snorts coming from our partner or spouse. In most cases a quick elbow to the ribs or a shove typically quiets those noises so we can get back to sleep. However, when those noises are coming from your child’s room, it’s another story entirely. Though parents usually ignore the snores or put it on the child being too tired or find it cute, most children snore when they have a nasal blockage, cold or allergies.
Although the occasionally snoring child isn’t a cause for alarm, frequent heavy or labored breathing may be a sign of something more serious, namely pediatric OSA or obstructive sleep apnea. It is not uncommon for children to snore due to serious health issues and oftentimes, their snoring is just a prelude to other serious symptoms.
Statistics regarding Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Because sleep is essential for a child’s development, it should come as no surprise that most parents are about the causes of snoring in children. Although snoring commonly occurs among adults and especially seniors, it happens with many children, also. There are numerous causes of sleep apnea, some of which come and go while others can be potentially long-lasting. Here are some important statistics about pediatric OSA to be aware of:
- 1.2% to 5.7% of children have pediatric OSA
- 10% to 12% of children are affected by primary snoring without any other symptoms
- 530,000 adenoidectomies and tonsillectomies are performed every year on US children ages 15 and younger to correct pediatric sleep apnea
- 70% of children diagnosed with primary snoring have also been diagnosed with sleep-disordered breathing
- 80% of all pediatric sleep apnea cases can be treated by removing the adenoids and the tonsils
- occasional snoring occurs in 27% of all children
- pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is commonly found among 3- to 6-year-olds
For the most part, a child’s snoring isn’t cause for concern, especially if it only occurs on an infrequent basis. However, when their snoring happens on a frequent basis or is more severe, it may be a warning sign of pediatric sleep apnea. Education regarding the causes and consequences of pediatric sleep apnea as well as the different types of the disorder that have been documented and treatment modalities is important. This will enable parents to look out for their children’s best interests and health.
If your child has been snoring for a while now, it is important to consult with a doctor and get the underlying cause diagnosed. It would help start the treatment early on and reduce the risk of other serious issues.
Warning Signs of Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Habitual snoring is the most common symptom of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea in children and the reason to search for a treatment of snoring. Children who are affected by the disorder snore regularly; not just when they’re ill, congested, or having allergy issues. Furthermore, you may notice other symptoms while your child is sleeping such as:
- frequent nighttime awakenings
- gasping for air
- labored breathing
- mouth breathing
- pauses in breathing
You’ll also see the effects of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea when your child is awake as well. The following signs may indicate that it’s time to speak with a pediatrician about your child’s snoring issues:
- If your child daydreams or “zones out” frequently during the day
- If your child frequently wets the bed after they’ve turned 9 years old or if they haven’t wet the bed for some time and the problem develops suddenly
- If your child has difficulties waking up in the morning even after sleeping for a significant amount of time during the night
- If your child is aggressive, cranky, or irritable
- If your child is excessively sleepy throughout the day
- If your child is struggling in school or having difficulty paying attention to the teacher
- If your child is wired when they appear to be tired; keep in mind they can be busybodies even if they’re overly tired
If you decide that it’s time to take your child to see a pediatrician and learn how to stop snoring, you should have a list of their behavioral issues that you’ve noticed ready to report. Keep in mind the importance of trusting your judgment as a parent, even if some of the above behavioral issues don’t apply. If you’re concerned about the above issues as well as their snoring, talk to your child’s pediatrician immediately.
Possible Causes of Obstructive Pediatric Sleep Apnea
In many instances, the risk factors and causes of snoring in children are similar to those of adults. Snoring occurs when air is unable to flow through the airway positioned at the back of the throat. As a person breathes, the airway tissues vibrate and cause the snoring sound that many of us are all too familiar with. There are numerous factors that can obstruct the airway and cause you or your child to snore, the most of which include:
- anatomical features
- asthma and other respiratory conditions
- being overweight; obesity
- contaminated or polluted air
- environmental tobacco smoke
- large or swollen adenoids and tonsils
- nasal congestion
- seasonal or year-round allergies
- shortened duration of breastfeeding
These are some of the reasons that your child of any age might be snoring. However, there are multitude of over-the-counter measures that can be taken to help your child stop snoring. Snoring due to a cold or allergy is very common, but if there are no other symptoms that warrants a visit to the sleep specialist. To learn more about the causes of snoring in children, how to stop snoring, and the treatment of children’s snoring, send us a message at [email protected]. Our experts are available to take your queries and offer you pertinent information about sleep related issues. Call us today!