Sleep apnea in children
While obstructive sleep apnea can be common in children, it’s not always easy to recognize. In addition to continuous loud snoring, children with sleep apnea may:
- Pause breathing while sleeping, snort, or gasp
- Adopt strange sleeping positions
- Suffer from bedwetting, excessive perspiration at night, or night terrors
- Exhibit daytime sleepiness
- Develop behavioral problems or declining grades
If you suspect sleep apnea in your child, it’s important to consult a pediatrician who specializes in sleep disorders. Left untreated, sleep apnea can affect your child’s learning, mood, growth, and overall health.
Causes and treatment for sleep apnea in children
The most common causes of obstructive sleep
apnea in kids are enlarged tonsils and adenoids. A simple adenotonsillectomy to remove the tonsils and adenoids usually corrects the problem. Your child’s doctor may also recommend using a CPAP or other breathing device.
If excess weight is causing your child’s obstructive sleep apnea, there are plenty of ways you can help your child reach and maintain a healthy weight. See Curbing Weight Problems and Obesity in Children