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Is Snoring Normal For Toddlers

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Signs Your Childs Snoring May Be Something More

Noisy Breathing in & Snoring in Children – Dr. Sheelu Srinivas

If you are concerned about your child snoring, here are some things to pay attention to at night and during the day:

At night:

  • Does your child snore on a regular basis?
  • Are there gasps or pauses when your child wakes up?
  • Does your child ever seem to stop breathing while asleep?
  • Do you notice heavy sweating during sleep?

During the day:

  • Is your child difficult to wake up?
  • Is your child irritable and cranky?
  • Do they have frequent headaches or fall asleep during the day?
  • Is your child experiencing behavioral problems?

Observe your childs habits and discuss what you see with your childs primary care provider. In some cases, he or she may refer you to a sleep specialist at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia to evaluate your child.

How Do Providers At Childrens Hospital Colorado Make A Diagnosis

If your child does not snore regularly or only snores when he or she has a cold, there is no need to consult a doctor. If your child snores all the time or for an extended period of time after being sick, you should visit a doctor. Based on your childs symptoms, medical history and a physical exam, the doctor may order more tests, like a sleep study or allergy test, to determine the cause of your childs snoring.

Tips To Control A Babys Snoring And Snorting

Here are some basic procedures that you can follow to control snoring and snorting in your baby :

  • Make them sleep in the correct position: The best thing you can do is to make the baby sleep in the correct position. Adults are usually recommended to sleep on their side to prevent snoring, but this position is not safe for the baby, so never try that out. The best position for your babys sleeping is on their back. When lying on the back, you can tilt their head in one direction to mitigate the chances of airway constriction. Keep alternating and tilt the head to different sides at regular intervals.
  • Keep allergens away: Maintaining a clean sleeping environment helps prevent exposure to potential allergens that may cause cold, allergies, and other respiratory problems that lead to snoring and snorting. Keep the babys bedroom well ventilated.
  • Use a humidifier if conditions are dry: Dry air can irritate the babys developing airways, and if the air is too dry, you can consider using a humidifier. Humidifiers are devices that pump water vapor in the air to maintain an optimum level of humidity for easy breathing. It does not treat snoring and snorting but can help make breathing more comfortable for the baby.
  • References:

    Recommended Reading: What Does High Oxygen Variation During Sleep Mean

    When To See The Doctor For Snoring

    No need to give the doctor a call if your tot snores for a few days when shes sick and has a stuffy nose or is otherwise congested. But if the snoring is frequent or seems to be affecting your little one during the day, its a good idea to speak to the pediatrician.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all regular snorers be screened by a health care provider because nighttime snoring and the loss of sleep it can cause can lead to some behavioral and emotional issues during the day.

    You should touch base with the doctor if:

    • Your child snores more than three nights a week.
    • She seems to gasp or have trouble breathing while sleeping.
    • She seems less alert or unusually tired during the day.
    • She complains that her head hurts.
    • Shes having a harder time staying focused.

    From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

    • What to Expect the Second Year, Heidi Murkoff.

    Sleep Disordered Breathing And Sleep Apnea That Causes Snoring In Children

    Snoring among children is not normal

    About 3% of children have more serious snoring and a condition called SBD or OSA .

    Apnea means going more than 10 seconds without breathing. In this case, the throat closesduring breathing incausing the rough snoring sound. This can seem quite scary, but children will automatically wake up and start breathing again, usually within 10 to 15 seconds.

    Signs of SBD are sleeping with the mouth open, a nasal gravelly voice, drool on the pillowcase, more headaches and being excessively sleepy. This problem is more common but not limited tochildren who are overweight and obese.

    Kids with SBD may startle awake or snort or gasp dozens or hundreds of times each night! Its no wonder kids with SBD often wake up with dark circles under the eyes, seem to be yawning all day, get irritable, hyper, forgetful and accident-prone. SBD also weakens the immune system, undermining learning and can lead to high blood pressure and heart strain.

    Your pediatrician may recommend medication to try to shrink the tonsils and adenoids , or she may suggest surgery to remove the tonsils and/or adenoids. A note of caution: if your child is overweight or older than 7 years of age, get a second opinion before scheduling surgery. Kids in these categories often do not improve with the procedure.

    Remember, only a small number of children experience apnea. Most snoring in children goes away after making a few adjustments in your tots sleep environment or diet.

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    What Is Sleep Apnea

    During sleep, everyone has brief pauses ion their breathing spattern called apneas. Usuall, these are completely normal. Sometimes, though, apneas may be prolonged and happen often, making the breathing pattern irregular and abnormal. Abnormal sleep apnea might actually cause decreased oxygen levels in the body and disrupt sleep

    When To See A Doctor

    Following are some scenarios when you must promptly take your baby to a doctor :

  • When the breathing is erratic: If the baby stops breathing for several seconds while snoring, then there is something serious going on, and you must not wait for their snoring to subside on its own. Staying breathless, even for a few moments, can have an adverse impact on the babys internal organs.
  • When the baby snores and snorts frequently/every time they sleep: Some amount of snoring and snorting is normal, but if they snore every time they sleep, and for weeks and months, then it could be an indicator of an underlying medical problem.
  • When the sound of snoring and snorting is shrill or too loud: You know something is not right when the snoring sounds like a noise that pierces your ears. Loud snoring for a tiny baby is not normal, and you should get a doctor to look.
  • When snoring is interfering with the sleep: If snoring keeps them awake or makes it difficult for them to enjoy continuous sleep, then get them checked by a doctor.
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    How Can I Tell If My Child Might Have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

    Snoring or noisy breathing is common in children but may also be the first sign of obstructive sleep apnoea.

    Other signs of possible sleep apnoea in a child that snores include:

    • being overweight or obese as these children are at greater risk than other children
    • restlessness during sleep
    • short pauses in breathing – although the chest is moving, no air is moving through the nose and mouth
    • mouth breathing when asleep or awake – the passage to the nose may be completely blocked
    • daytime sleepiness or irritability
    • hyperactivity during the day

    This is a video of a child with severe obstructive sleep apnoea. You can see his chest sucking in with each breath. The noises you can hear are because his airway is partly blocked.

    Snoring: When To Be Concerned

    Is it Normal for Children to Snore ?

    Whether its the gentle purr of your toddler or wall-shaking snoring of your teenager, snoring can be a source of concern for any parent. Recent research has shown that sleep is important in brain development, learning, staying healthy and maintaining attention. Snoring can be a clue that your child is not getting good quality sleep.

    If your child is snoring, there may be treatments to help address the problem. The most common reasons for snoring in children are enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Children with nasal blockage related to chronic allergies, a deviated septum or narrowing of the nose from birth might also experience similar problems.

    A careful examination of the nose, mouth and throat can reveal the source of potential blockage. Your pediatrician might also recommend additional testing during the office visit or in a specialists setting to determine the amount of blockage and if surgery would help improve your childs sleep.

    Here are a few things to watch out for to determine if you should be concerned about your childs snoring.

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    When Is A Childs Snoring Problematic The Signs To Look Out For

    There are some key signs that can suggest that your childs snoring is a cause for concern.

    5 sleeping flags are:

  • You can hear pauses in the childs breathing
  • They often sleep with an open mouth.
  • It can be hard for you to identify these sleeping flags in your child beyond a certain age, parents dont usually share a room with their child.

    Therefore, it is important to also keep watch for these 5 flags whilst your child is awake:

  • They have trouble waking up
  • They are unusually irritable
  • There are behavioural issues and problems at school
  • You are told that they fall asleep at school
  • They report having headaches or a sore throat.
  • If they are ticking many of these boxes, it is a good idea to seek advice and further investigation from a specialist.

    Before a medical consultation, it is recommended that you start a sleep journal. This can help a specialist glean some insight into your childs snoring. Focus on the 10 sleeping and waking flags above.

    The logistics of listening to your childs entire night of sleep are difficult if they are at the age where you arent sharing a room. This is where SnoreLab can be helpful.

    Side note: is SnoreLab suitable for children will my childs privacy be protected?

    When To Worry About Your Childs Snoring

    Though it can be normal for children to snore, there are signs that indicate a bigger problem.

    If your child snores for three nights weekly, this can sometimes mean something serious, and its a sign that you should see a doctor.

    However, there are other cases in which snoring might be a bad sign, and you need to keep an eye out for them:

    • Wetting the bed.
    • Difficulty breathing or gasps during sleep.
    • Focus and learning issues.
    • Weight stagnation or growth issues
    • Diagnosed ADHD

    Its worth noting that these symptoms can indicate SDB, but it doesnt mean that every child who snores is facing serious health problems. If these symptoms occur in your child, you should immediately consult your pediatrician.

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    What You Can Do

    First, keep in mind what you should not dopanic. If you notice your child is snoring in her sleep, though, you do want to pay attention. Try to identify what type of snoring your child is doing. Is it a temporary breathing issue brought on by congestion? Is it very loud and noticeable or just a slight rasp of breath? Does it happen night after night ? Almost all children snore at some point in their lives, but in most instances, it’s temporary and harmless. About 10 percent of children snore every night.

    If you think your child falls into that 10 percent category, talk to your pediatrician about having your child evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome . This usually involves having a pediatric ENT check to see if the tonsils and adenoids are enlarged. If they are, your doctor may want to do a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. When needed, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy which remove the tonsils and adenoids. In some instances, children need to be treated with a mask-like device that provides steady air pressure through the nose and relieves the problems that cause snoring.

    Certain factors put toddlers at a greater risk for sleep apnea and snoring. African-American children and boys are more likely to develop the problem. Also at higher risk are children with Down syndrome or medical conditions that result in an irregular skull or facial development.

    Causes Of Snoring In Your Toddler:

    Baby Snoring, Recognize Risks and How to Prevent them

    There are many reasons for snoring in your toddler. A few of them are listed below.

    • Obesity is the foremost causing agent of snoring in your toddlerobesity results in narrowing the airway and increases obstructive sleep apnea.
    • Congestion is the 2nd important purpose of snoring in your toddler. It outcomes in the clean muscle groups blockage and inflames the tonsils and adenoids.
    • Allergies additionally cause snoring in your children.
    • Asthma additionally motives loud night breathing in your toddler. It inhibits every day pretty respiration and blocks the airway, which motivates severe loud night breathing in a child.
    • Anatomic characteristics additionally involve snoring in your toddler. This condition results in blockage of the airway in your toddler. So your toddler is now not capable of breathing typically and snoring at the night time time.
    • If anybody in your home or surrounding environment is smoking, it also motives loud night breathing in your toddler.
    • Snoring in your infant also occurs when your toddler is breathing in contaminated air once in a while.
    • If you furnish your toddler shorter breastfeeding duration, this will additionally reason loud night breathing in your toddler.

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    What Tests Are Used To Diagnose The Cause Of Your Childs Snoring

    If a doctor thinks your child has sleep apnea, he or she will recommend a test called a sleep study. The official term for a sleep study is polysomnogram. A sleep study is a procedure that is performed overnight in the Sleep Lab at Children’s Hospital Colorado in order to detect any problems in your childs breathing during sleep. The sleep study records different sleep stages and monitors your childs heart rate, oxygen level and brain waves during sleep. The studies are not painful to children.

    Signs Your Childs Snoring Should Be Taken Seriously

    Get tips to spot sleep issues, plus learn about a new nationwide sleep study for which your child may be eligible.

    Many children may snore at some point in their lives, especially during bouts of colds or when their allergies are acting up. Its often a passing phase, but in some cases, it is a habitual problem that requires treatment.

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    So how do parents know when snoring is an issue?

    C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital pediatric sleep specialist Fauziya Hassan, MBBS, M.S., says the answer often lies in what happens when a child isnt sleeping.

    Problematic snoring can often cause poor quality of sleep that leads to daytime behavioral issues, Hassan says. Since its unlikely a parent is able to observe their child sleeping each night, these daytime symptoms may actually be the first noticeable signs. However, many parents dont think to associate them with problematic sleep.

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    What To Look For During The Day

    • If your child seems excessively sleepy during the day it is a good indicator that they didn’t get enough sleep the night before due to frequent interruptions and wakings in the middle of the night.

    • If your child is difficult to wake up in the morning it could be an indication that they weren’t sleeping restfully at night.

    • If they fall asleep often during the day or habitually daydream.

    • If they have learning, behavioral, or social problems.

    • If they are often irritable, cranky, agitated, or aggressive.

    • If they speak nasally and breath primarily through their mouths.

    Swollen Or Large Adenoids And Tonsils

    Study: Snoring in children may lead to behavioral issues

    The adenoids and tonsils are located near the back of your throat, and theyre part of your bodys immune system. Whether theyre naturally larger than normal or theyve swollen up due to infection, this can block the airway and lead to snoring, which is one of the main things that cause sleep-disordered breathing in children.

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    When To See A Pediatric Specialist For Your Childs Snoring

    If the child demonstrates loud, persistent snoring night to night, with associated symptoms such as mouth breathing, witnessed apnea pauses, restlessness, gasping, difficulty waking in the morning and daytime fatigue, they may benefit from a specialty evaluation.

    Lack of good sleep can impact daytime behavior, focus, and attention, so finding a strategy to improve sleep quality is important for the overall health and well-being of the child.

    If sleep apnea is suspected , we recommend a consultation with a Lurie Childrens Pediatric Otolaryngologist to help you determine the best individualized plan for your child.

    Enlarged Adenoids Or Tonsils

    An infection of adenoids and tonsils can cause constricting pressure on the airways . As mentioned earlier, this can lead to sleep apnea.

    Both adenoids and tonsils are part of the lymphatic system, which plays a major role in protecting the respiratory system from infections, but they are themselves vulnerable to infections. An infected adenoid or tonsil will expand in size and obstruct the tiny airways of the baby, causing them to snore and snort.

    Symptoms: Enlarged tonsils can be easily spotted near the lateral side of the throat, inside the babys mouth. An adenoid is not visible through the mouth, and enlargement can be diagnosed through symptoms like chronic mouth breathing, open jaw, and troubled breathing through the nose. The enlarged adenoid can be seen on a lateral x-ray.

    Treatment: Tonsil and adenoid infections can be treated with antibiotic medication. In the case of severe infections, the tissue may have to be surgically removed.

    Read Also: Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea After Military Service

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