Listening to a child snore can be a cute and humorous experience, especially for parents. But when a child is a chronic snorer, it’s also an indication of an underlying sleep disorder that needs to be addressed.
How common is snoring in children?
It’s not unusual for children to snore periodically throughout their sleep. “If your child has a cold or it’s allergy season, a little snoring is common,” says Dr. Judith Owens, director sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center. (Rosen, 2013) The problem is that chronic, loud snoring is often a symptom that accompanies other sleep disorders.
When does a child’s snoring become a problem?
“If you hear it outside the room, it’s a problem,” says Haviva Veler, director of the Weill Cornell Pediatric Sleep Center in New York. “So many kids snore and parents think it is normal and cute. They don’t know it is actually a symptom.” (Petersen, 2013)
The problem with a child’s snoring is that loud or frequent snoring, pauses in breathing, choking sounds, or gasping for breath during sleep are signs of sleep apnea, which although not dangerous, is nonetheless a serious condition that can interfere with the quality of a child’s sleep.
What To Do About a Child’s Snoring
Here are a few suggestions for tackling a child’s snoring problem:
A) Encourage them to sleep in a different position. Having them sleep on their sides is usually better than sleeping on their back or stomach.
B) Ask your pediatrician about nighttime sleep aids that might improve their snoring problem.
C) If chronic snoring is really bad, ask your pediatrician about surgery to remove their tonsils and adenoid, which may rid them of their snoring.