Does Your Toddler Snoring? – Snooze for kids
Sleep breathing disorders (SBD) are frequent, albeit under-diagnosed problems in young children. SBD are characterised by varying degrees of upper airway obstruction during sleep which range in severity along a spectrum from mild mouth breathing, through a bit of a snore then loud snoring and then snoring accompanied by what appears to be a breath hold. This last one is called sleep apnea. Associate Professor Blunden did many studies in children’s snoring. Here is a bit of information for parents about snoring in children.
While everyone will snore more when they have a cold or a blocked nose, snoring when there is no cold present might need some attention from your doctor. Between the ages of 2 and 4 years old snoring is quite common in children because the airway passage at the back of the throat is disproportionately small compared to the other parts of the jaw and face. So air sometime has difficulty getting through, especially if the child has enlarged tonsils. Enlarged adenoids can also cause snoring.
Snoring children have poorer sleep and as a consequence have worse behaviour (particularly hyperactivity) and can’t concentrate as well and so sometimes have difficulty learning.
If your young child snores even when they do not have a cold have a cold, and especially if they appear to hold their breath during sleep, this should be attended to by your medical professional.
Blunden, S.L., Lushington, K., Kennedy, D., Martin, J., Dawson, D. (2000). Behaviour and neurocognitive performance in children aged 5-10 years who snore compared to controls. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 22, (5): 554-568.