Statistics says that from 8 to 12% of children regularly snore during sleep, and in 3-5% of children have sleep apnoea. Baby sleep apnoea – is a serious problem that can affect a child’s growth, it’s emotional and cognitive development and the cardiovascular system. Here are 10 signs to help you figure out whether you need to sound the alarm if the child snores.
- Heavy sweating during sleep. This indicates that the excessive activity of the sympathetic nervous system during sleep, which causes a lack of oxygen to breathe and attempts at overlapping airways.
Ceasing chest and sternum during inspiration. Again, this is due to increased attempts to breathe with closed airways.
- Adoption of strange postures during sleep. Excessive stretching of the neck is common among children with sleep apnoea. This helps them to maintain the airway open.
- Morning headaches. Appear as a result of lack of oxygen and increased pressure during sleep.
- Regular incontinence. Several studies have reported an increased prevalence of sleep apnoea in children who are unable to hold the bladder from emptying during sleep. In one of these studies, 42% of children treated for sleep apnoea suffer from bedwetting. After treatment, 66% of children showed significant improvement of the condition.
- Hyperactivity and attention deficits in school. Children with sleep apnoea are often misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. With proper diagnosis and detection of snoring during sleep can avoid unnecessary treatment of ADHD.
- Frequent sleepwalking and nightmares. These unpleasant sleep disorders can be caused by sleep apnoea. Research at Stanford University, conducted a few years ago revealed that the majority of children with sleepwalking and sleep apnoea stop unconscious nocturnal activity after treatment of sleep apnoea.
- Children hypertension. All children with elevated blood pressure should be checked on sleep apnoea.
- Down Syndrome. From 40 to 70% of children with Down syndrome suffer from sleep apnoea. Without proper treatment, this disorder can significantly affect of the health and mental development.
- Obesity. Recent studies have shown that nearly 30% of obese children suffer from sleep apnoea. Without treatment, concomitant obesity, sleep apnoea increases their already high risk of developing hypertension, insulin resistance and metabolic disorders. Sleep apnoea also prevents the child effectively discard excess weight.
Sleep apnoea is becoming more common disorder, but it is fairly easy to treat in children. Unfortunately, without proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition may significantly affect their health and development. If your child snores constantly, and shows one of the above conditions, certainly do inform your paediatrician.