August 5, 2012
A lot of us would laugh whenever we hear the innocent snores of a sleeping child. Perhaps it does seem kind of cute at first; however, if it’s something that is exhibited often by the child, then it is not cute at all. In fact, it is a cause for alarm.
If you find your child snoring often or having breathing difficulties during sleep, then it is most likely a condition like sleep apnea or something similar. It is not normal, but a chronic health condition that requires correction, especially in children. Sleep is such an important part of a child’s development, and any form of obstruction or deterrent that prevents the child’s intake of oxygen is detrimental and even dangerous in some cases.
Snoring in children is caused by mainly three things. Having certain anatomical traits like a small jaw or a narrow airway that the child was born with can cause breathing difficulties during sleep. Also, the muscle and nerves in the airway may not be functioning properly during sleep, not letting the airway open up enough. But the most prevalent cause for child snoring is the enlargement of tonsils and adenoids.
Unobstructed breathing during sleep is very important for children’s health. The brain requires a constant supply of oxygen from the blood in order to keep growing. It may sound farfetched, but a child’s ability to learn and develop various skills is dependent on the brain’s rapid rate of growth during childhood. This also goes to other parts of the body, from the bones to the vital organs. If you find your child snoring, it means that all of these parts of his/her body are not getting adequate oxygen.
Severe snoring during sleep can result in tiredness and irritability once the child is fully awake. When it is allowed to continue for a long period of time, effects like frequent nightmares, behavioral problems, learning impairments, and even bed-wetting and morning headaches can come up.
The harmful effects of not having adequate oxygen during sleep is actually quite significant. Countless children have been diagnosed with ADHD due to hyperactivity, impaired mental faculties, and emotional problems. In fact, studies have shown that such behavior can be linked to lack of proper sleep due to chronic snoring.
If this is the case with your child, then perhaps you can hold back the paranoia and just solve your kid’s snoring problem first. Perhaps restful sleep can help your child get back up to speed with growth and development. If you find your child to exhibit chronic snoring during sleep, seeking professional medical help is paramount to the child’s future growth.
This is quite a common condition in children around the world. According to surveys, habitual snoring has been observed in 11 to 12 percent of children ages 1 to 9 years, with a frequency of at least 3 to 4 times a week. This should be enough for parents to notice, and it is important that this problem be addressed as soon as possible.