Kids and Sleep Apnea
Now that kids are back to school you may be thinking about well checks and flu shots but one important thing to discuss with your child’s pediatrician are any sleep issues. Sleep problems in children are easy to overlook because adults don’t associate health-related sleep issues and children. We think of kids waking up because of nightmares and bad habits but not with health-related sleep issues like snoring or sleep apnea. It’s time to rethink that association.
Some estimates have one out of four children suffering from sleep apnea, most between the ages of 2-8 years. Signs that your child may have sleep apnea include snoring, tossing and turning, mouth breathing during sleep, blankets off the bed in the morning, excessive daytime fatigue, and chronic bad mood and even ADHD may be a sign that your child has sleep apnea. If your child suffers from more than 1 of these symptoms above then it’s important to monitor their sleep habit and discuss testing with your pediatrician.
Like many childhood ailments, you may be thinking of allowing your child to outgrow their snoring or sleep apnea. If so, reconsider. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues in adulthood and can have serious effects on cognitive health. School performance, heart health, and mental health can all be affected by bad sleep.
Depending on the age of your child, there are different treatment options available. It all starts with a discussion with your pediatrician.
Todd Morgan, DMD has successfully treated adolescents for sleep apnea in his 30-year Sleep Apnea practice in San Diego.