When children snore

By • Published: September 21st, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

You might expect to hear your Uncle Otto sawing logs after he turns in for the night. But what about your toddler?

About 10 percent of children snore every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Even more children snore on occasion, especially if they have a cold. But a snore is not always just a snore, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the smallest snorers get checked out by a doctor.

Those seemingly harmless sounds emerging from your child could actually be the sign of a bigger problem. A percentage of snorers actually have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when a person periodically stops breathing during the night because of a blocked airway.

In children, this condition could lead to even bigger problems. Sleep apnea could affect a child’s development and may even be linked to hyperactivity. A University of Michigan study that recently appeared in the journal Sleep showed that children who snored or had obstructive sleep apnea were more likely to face attention difficulties and symptoms of hyperactivity later in childhood. These problems could surface in school, resulting in poor grades or behavior problems.

Snoring may also be a sign of other medical problems, such as asthma.

So what should you do if your child is sawing as many logs as old Uncle Otto? Experts recommend parents track children’s snoring patterns and seek the advice of a pediatrician.

Then, maybe everyone can get a good night’s sleep.