About when your child is snoring
If your child or toddler has started snoring, you might at first think this is normal and cute, little ones can have adorable sleeping habits, and a light snore can add to the cuteness. However, persistent and /or loud snoring, especially when paired with persistent halitosis, may be a sign of health problems for your child.
Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnoea, tonsillitis, ear infections and /or infected adenoids. So how can you tell if your child’s snoring is a problem or not? Fortunately, you don’t have to guess. Other symptoms generally accompany problem snoring.
Sleep Apnoea Symptoms
Look for these symptoms to judge whether or not your child is suffering from sleep apnoea.
- Loud, chronic snoring that occurs every night or almost every night.
- Pauses in snoring, marked by a stopping of breath. Your child may struggle in their sleep to breathe, and then snort as air finally moves through the nasal passage. This may actually interrupt sleep and wake your child.
- Restlessness during sleep or sleeping in odd positions.
- Heavy sweating while asleep.
Sleep apnoea also manifests some symptoms when your child is awake. Look for these, as well.
- Difficulty waking up.
- Headaches throughout the day, especially in the morning.
- Irritability and crankiness.
- Sleepiness during the day that results in your child falling asleep or drifting off and daydreaming.
- Behavioural problems at daycare or in school.
These are all signs that your child is not getting proper rest when he or she is asleep. The disruption of breathing during sleep robs a person with sleep apnoea of adequate rest.
Ear, Nose and Throat Problems Associated with Snoring
Snoring is can often be a symptom of obstructive or inflamed adenoids, which may need to be removed. The adenoids are located in the upper rear region of the air passageway. When they become inflamed and swell, they narrow that passageway, making breathing more difficult. If you notice, in addition to snoring, that your child speaks in a nasal voice or has trouble breathing through his or her nose properly, an appointment with your local doctor or ENT specialist may be required.
Other Potential Causes
For most children, snoring is a symptom of a sinus infection, which will most likely need antibiotics to heal properly and quickly, or inflamed tonsils and adenoids. Inflamed adenoids can also result in chronic ear infections. Many doctors, when it comes time to surgically insert ear grommets in a child’s ear canals to alleviate ear infections, will often also remove the adenoid.
However, there are other causes for snoring and sleep apnoea. Childhood obesity can affect the passage of air through your child’s nose and mouth. Sleep apnoea and snoring can also be caused by a deviated septum. Talk to your child’s pediatrician or Ear Nose and Throat Specialist about what could be disturbing your child’s sleep and the potential management options.