Snoring Children – Cute or Dangerous?

Many parents enjoy listening to their child snore when they sleep, but when should snoring in children become a concern? It is believed that if a child snores 3-4 times or more per week and snores loudly enough that the parents can hear, the child would be considered a habitual snorer.

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So, what are some risk factors related to having a child that has chronic snoring? There are many, some of which include fatigue, hypertension, obesity, allergies, second hand smoke or enlarged adenoids/tonsils.

Chronic snoring can also be a sign for other, more serious conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, which is basically defined as periods of stopped breathing followed by a gasp or a snort. In fact, many children with chronic snoring have been accidentally diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) when all they really need better sleeping conditions.

Snoring in children is more common than most people think. Studies shown from populations from around the world, including the US, state that between 3 percent and 12 percent of children aged 1-9 suffer from chronic snoring. Of that 12 percent, 2 percent have obstructive sleep apnea. If left untreated, this disorder can lead to heart, pulmonary and growth problems.

There are different options when it comes to testing for obstructive sleep apnea. The most common is an overnight sleep study, usually done at a hospital. Although the study is proven very effective in diagnosing your child, the testing is usually only offered in large metropolitan areas and with that include long wait lists.

There are a few different problems that can cause snoring. The most common underlying reason for snoring is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Another reason could be that the child was born with a smaller airway or jaw.

What should parents look for when trying to diagnose if their child has chronic snoring problems? A few of the symptoms include tiredness or restless sleep, poor performance in school, difficulty focusing on tasks, change in their behavior, headaches, nightmares and possibly bedwetting.

If a child is experiencing these symptoms as well as snoring, parents should consider having their child seen by a pediatrician as well as have their child undergo testing for more serious breathing conditions.

If left untreated, children may experience health issues, or at the very least grow into adults who snore or develop sleep apnea.

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