Children can snore occasionally, its actually normal. Recent studies show that between 3 to 12 percent of children between the age of 1 and 9 snore. Just because you child does it frequently doesn’t mean that its normal. Habitual snoring can be a cause of a more serious medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) or simply, sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition generally characterized by loud snoring with periods of breathing interruptions. Interruptions may be short or prolonged, usually between 5 to 30 seconds. During this period, the child’s won’t be getting straight deep sleep. The child will be restless and will rouse and moves to another sleeping position, then resumes sleep again. After a little while they will again begin snoring. This type of activity can happen several times during the night, each night. This condition will rarely appear on a child, so it is very important that parents should watch out for symptoms that come along with it.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include
• Poor speech habits – talking that sounds like words over a mouthful of hot potato.
• Reduced growth rate. Children suffering from sleep apnea use more energy in breathing during the night. During meals, they tend to eat slowly since it is hard for them to breathe and chew at the same time. The result is, they have insufficient nutrients to support their growth.
• Hyperactivity. Lack of sleep can cause drowsiness on children during the day. To stay awake, children act frantically.
• Poor performance in school. Since children do not get the right sleep during the night, they tend to appear tired and lack the concentration to focus at school, thus, having a poor performance.
When a parent see these symptoms, it is important for parents to bring get their child to a pediatrician and have him examined. We sure you know that a child can be happy and smiling when he is brought to the doctor and therefore, it is difficult to diagnose if he really has sleep apnea. We recommend that parents record their child’s snoring so that the doctor can analyze the situation properly.
Meanwhile, sleep apnea is not the sole reason why children snore. Other reasons can include allergy attack, obesity, asthma, and enlargement of adenoids and/or tonsils caused by cold or tonsillitis.
Some allergy attacks can cause swelling on the linings of the nose that can lead directly to the enlargement of adenoids. This can keep the child from breathing normally, which in turn causes the child to snore. After the allergy attack, the snoring stops.
Obesity can also lead to snoring. In fact, between 20% and 40% of obese children snore. This is because fats can form around the throat that can cause constriction and makes the airways limited. Also, fats in the stomach can cause the diaphragm to function irregularly.
Asthma is said to be another cause why children snore. A study revealed that 40% of the children diagnosed with asthma snore. Enlargement of adenoids and/or tonsils caused by cold or tonsillitis also results to snoring. While cold or tonsillitis can be cured by decongestant and antibiotics, adenoid enlargement is treated by surgical procedure to remove adenoids and tonsils.
Underdevelopment of the jaw inside the womb can cause snoring as well. There is also the possibility that the nerves and the muscles cannot control the airway properly and cause that child to snore.
If you are worried at all about you child snoring, get them into a doctor straight away and have them examined.