Kids snoring is fairly common and about 7-12% of kids under 16 snore. Perhaps you hear your toddler snoring just when he has a cold or the flu. If the snoring is just occasional like this then you probably need not worry. But if doubt, always see your doctor.
If your toddler needs help with snoring then you can try moving him to a different position whilst he is asleep. You can try lying him on his side or stomach. You may need to put a rolled up towel behind him to stop him for going back onto his back.
Toddler snoring is easy just to dismiss as a sweet little habit. However, if your toddler is snoring then it actually means that he is having difficulty breathing and you need to check it out with the doctor in case it is sleep apnea (sleep apnea).
You can find sleep apnea pillows specially designed to reduce snoring caused by sleep apnea.
Kids Snoring and Sleep Apnea
If your toddler’s snoring is persistent rather than just occasional then you need to check with your doctor in case your child as sleep apnea.
Around half a million of children in the US are affected by sleep apnea. As well as snoring you might notice are that your toddler will seem to stop breathing for around 10 seconds in their sleep, their breathing will be irregular, he may be gasping for breathe and may be sweaty (because he is working hard to breathe).
Sleep apnea is likely to cause your toddler to wake up several times during the night. He won’t have slept well and as a result he’ll be tired and cranky the the next day or overtired and hyperactive.
Types of Sleep Apnea
The most common type is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and this is caused by an anatomical blockage of airflow to the lungs. This could be enlarged adenoids which are the throat glands on the roof of the palate or enlarged tonsils.
Obstructive sleep apnea has 3 classifications: mild, moderate or severe, and this is measured on the number of times in an hour that breathing stops (apnea) or is shallow.
The two other types of sleep apnea are:
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) is when the brain does not stimulate the body to take a breath.
Mixed Sleep Apnea (MSA) is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
When you take your toddler to see the doctor, the doctor will examine your toddler’s throat and will be looking for enlarged tonsils and enlarged adenoids. He may recommend a sleep study or prescribe nasal steroid sprays which should reduce the size of the adenoids. Alternatively he may recommend surgery to remove the enlarged adenoids and/or enlarged tonsils.
Your doctor may recommend a nasal mask (called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP mask) which brings a steady stream of air through the mask to keep the airways open. However success is not very likely as toddlers don’t want to wear any masks in bed and it could cause everyone a lot of stress and upset without helping the snoring problem.
Toddler snoring which then turns out to be sleep apnea can cause major problems if it is left un-diagnosed. Tiredness can lead to poor learning at school and bad behavior due to tiredness will in turn effect relationships with both teachers and friends.
Children can grow out of snoring but this could take years and therefore means that your toddler’s sleep will be badly effected for years – which will effect his overall development. If your toddler snores then you should seek help with snoring from your doctor.