With school days upon us, a good night's sleep should be on the top of each child's list of supplies. But for some children, getting the rest they need means more than an early bedtime. At Clarity Allergy Center in Chicago, allergy, asthma, and immunology expert, Dr. Brian Rotskoff, is helping parents recognize the signs of childhood obstructive sleep apnea by carefully monitoring childhood snoring and childhood nasal allergies.
Many children snore from time to time, particularly if they have a cold or asthma. But as Dr. Rotskoff, a highly specialized pediatric nasal congestion and sleep apnea expert explains, "if your child is a restless sleeper who chronically snores and mouth breaths and shows signs of daytime difficulties, obstructive sleep apnea could be the cause." He also points out that the symptoms of sleep apnea in kids can be subtler than those of adult sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea In Children – What To Look For
Beyond restless nights, Dr. Rotskoff encourages parents who suspect their child may have obstructive sleep apnea to watch for these warning signs that can begin as early as 2-6 years of age.
Nighttime Sleep Apnea Symptoms
- Persistent snoring and mouth breathing
- Gasping or labored breathing
- Frequent bedwetting beyond normal age range
- Night sweats
- Unusual sleeping positions
Daytime Sleep Apnea Symptoms
- Allergies, asthma, or frequent ear infections
- Poor school performance or trouble focusing on tasks
- Behavioral or social problems
- Bad mood or constant agitation
- Depression or anxiety
Childhood Nasal Allergies and Asthma
It's highly common for children with sleep apnea to have other breathing issues. "Some children are just persistent snorers and don't necessarily have sleep apnea," acknowledges Dr. Rotskoff, "but compounding issues, such as enlarged tonsils and adenoids, can elevate to sleep apnea."