Should I worry that my child snores?

By admin
18 June 2014

You might be used to your husband’s snores by now, but is it okay if your kids follow suit? Experts say snoring can be extremely harmful for children and it’s best to seek treatment immediately.

You might be used to your husband’s snores by now, but is it okay if your kids follow suit? Experts say snoring can be extremely harmful for children and it’s best to seek treatment immediately.

What causes snoring in kids?

“If a parent hears their child snoring at night it is very important that they mention it to their doctor immediately,” says Professor Robin Green at the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria. He adds that snoring is caused by the child’s breathing being obstructed which means not enough oxygen is getting into their bloodstream.

Snoring in children is most commonly caused by enlarged adenoids and tonsils. In addition, snoring can be caused by a problem with the child’s anatomy such as a small jaw or small airway or a problem with the muscles that control the airway which would result in the airway not opening enough when the child is sleeping, or it could be caused by flu and allergies.

What are the results of kids snoring?

“This can result in anything from a learning disability to a strain on the heart which means your child could go into heart failure,” Professor Green says.

Snoring can also be a symptom of a sleep disorder called sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea can cause:

  • Learning difficulties;
  • Behavioural problems;
  • Bed-wetting;
  • Sleepwalking;
  • Retarded growth;
  • Other hormonal and metabolic problems;
  • Failure to thrive.

If the problem is sleep apnoea, it would be wise to consult with a sleep specialist in order to give your child the best treatment.

How do I stop my child’s snoring?

Professor Green says in the most common causes for snoring the simple remedy would be to remove the child’s adenoids or tonsils as this will assist them to breathe better.

Other methods to stop your child’s snoring include:

  • Placing a pillow underneath your toddler’s mattress if they’re in a crib and not yet using a pillow, or putting it under their head if they’re already in a bed with a pillow. Elevating their head while they sleep could help relieve congestion and clear up their breathing passages.
  • If allergies are an issue for your child, be sure to remove all allergy triggers from their room (such as down blankets and pets — sorry, Whiskers). If allergies are still a problem, your paediatrician may recommend allergy medication. Once the allergies are under control your toddler’s congestion and night-time breathing may get better.

-Shandukani Mulaudzi

Sources: medicalnewstoday.com, sleepapnea.org, whattoexpect.com

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