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Childhood Snoring Tips PDF  | Print |  E-mail
It's 2am, and something's woken you.  It sounds like a colony of bullfrogs, or maybe a marching band.  And then, you realize that people are snoring -- in every room in your house.

It's bad enough that your husband snores like a wild man, but now you realize that your child is snoring as well!  Out of curiosity you mention the problem to your pediatrician, who tells you that kids who snore should be checked for possible underlying problems.

Is snoring genetic?  Actually, if one parent is a snorer, the child is three times more likely to also snore.  However there are several other causes of childhood snoring.  For example, kids who suffer from atopy, a predisposition to asthma and allergies, are twice as likely to snore.

Tests have shown that children who snore may face an increased risk of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other health related problems.  After researching many children, these same studies have indicated that African American children are three times as likely to snore than their Asian, Caucasian, or Biracial counterparts.

Medical conditions


As childhood snoring is often indicative of more serious problems, your family doctor or pediatrician must determine if your son or daughter suffers from other medical conditions.  Childhood snoring can be a sign of a sleep disorder that may pose long-term effects.  Although seemingly unrelated, sleep disorders in children can indicate an additional risk of learning disabilities, behavioral problems, or even cardiovascular concerns. Early intervention can make a big difference to the education and overall well being of your child.

There are other reasons to investigate the source of childhood snoring.  Studies have indicated that the shape of a person's head will affect the snoring mechanism. Children and adults with rounder heads are more likely to snore than their counterparts with longer, thinner-shaped heads. Excess weight and snoring also go hand in hand, even in children.  Being overweight expands the size of the neck and increases the amount of fatty tissue in the throat.  This excess tissue vibrates and causes the noise.

Second hand smoke is another culprit.  The airway becomes irritated and can create a snoring problem.  Other causes of childhood snoring are nasal obstructions such as polyps, and enlarged tonsils or adenoids.  Some children only snore when they are ill. The common cold will constrict the nasal passages and cause snoring, but the condition should pass as soon as the cold has run its course.

Effects


Aside from the causes, there are serious effects of childhood snoring that must be considered.  Sleep disruption can cause the school-aged child to face special challenges in the classroom.   Without a sufficient amount of deep sleep, he or she will feel less alert and have trouble concentrating.  The result can be lower grades, reduced classroom participation and even behavioral problems.

Whether you determine the cause of the snoring on your own, or take your child to see a doctor or pediatrician, it's important to address the issue and relieve the causes.  Childhood snoring may be caused by allergies, illness, weight or even lifestyle.  Eliminate the external causes, and speak to your healthcare practitioner about any underlying concerns.

Work with your son or daughter to combat the problem of childhood snoring. You'll both sleep better for it!
 
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