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How to deal with child snoring

Do you have a child that snores? If so, you are not alone.

Considering that approximately 40% of the country’s population snores and that snoring parents often have children who snore, it is no wonder. Therefore, if you and/or your spouse snore, you should expect that your child would also be at risk for snoring. Just as with you, the snoring child likely does not sleep well. As you can imagine, this would affect the child’s day activities such as school.

For instance, if you find that your child’s teacher is telling you that your son or daughter is sitting in the classroom daydreaming, disrupting the classroom, and fidgeting, it could be directly related to a problem with snoring. The thing to remember is that for the child that snores, the type of snoring would mean different things. As an example, you might have one child that snores so loud, you swear the house is shaking while another child simply makes a puffing sound when exhaling. Then, some people make a gurgling sound while snoring, which is known as “wet snoring”.

Keep in mind that when your child goes to sleep, the body’s muscles relax. Therefore, as the air passages start to collapse in the upper part of the throat and the back of the nose, air rushes into these passages, which causes tissues to vibrate. The result of these vibrations is what we commonly know as snoring. As the air passages become more and more relaxed, causing further narrowing, the snoring becomes even louder and more intense. Now, when the air passage is so small that air cannot pass through, the snoring would cease. Also known as “sleep apnea”, you would notice your child’s check moving but the child not breathing. As you can imagine, this situation is scary.

Just remember that after several seconds, the body will wake up naturally due to a lack of oxygen. At that point, you would notice your child taking in a gasping breath. With this, normal airflow resumes. However, throughout the night, the child may experience this same process several times. The problem is that sleep apnea can be dangerous so it is imperative you see the pediatrician who may recommend the obstruction be removed.

In addition, we will go back to the problem of the child not getting adequate sleep. Today, we see so many children being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. While this is the case in some children, the hyperactivity, distraction, disruption, and daydreaming could also be the result of a lack of sleep caused by snoring. For this reason, we recommend you have your child seen to determine the best course of action.

In the meantime, make sure your child is not overweight, not eating too late at night, and using a special anti-snore pillow that would elevate the head and neck to open the airway. It may be that a new pillow fixes the problem although your pediatrician may also recommend you use nasal strips to open the airway, or even a nasal spray or drops.

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