Why does my toddler snore? – snoring in toddlers
It might be typical for little babies to snore because secretions in their throat often clog their tiny, immature air passages causing the vibratory sound. As babies grow older and as their air passages matures and widens, however, this vibratory sound should subside by the sixth month. Snoring in toddlers on the other hand may be normal when your toddler has bouts of colds, flu, or allergy. This is occasional snoring. If the snoring in toddlers becomes more frequent during their sleep, it could be a symptom of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder caused by enlarged adenoids (the glands in the throat on the roof of the palate) blocking the air passage and affects 500,000 children in the United States annually. This gives difficulty for your toddler in breathing during their sleep at night. Sleep apnea is characterized as a pause in breathing for about 10 seconds during sleep. Some toddlers in this condition tend to awaken several times in the middle of the night. Sleep apnea results in daytime lack of energy in toddlers when they’re supposed to be active, crankiness and irritability, and lead to behavior problems.
Long-term effects of inadequate sleep in toddlers are poor memory retention and poor mental health leading to learning problems when they enter pre-school. Experts advice that the period between 3 to 6 years old is the peak when snoring becomes harmful to a child’s development. It is also at this stage when treating snoring makes a huge difference in their behavior and learning.
Once you hear snoring in toddlers and suspect that he/she has sleep apnea, a visit to the doctor must be heeded. Doctors would generally evaluate the size of the adenoids and other peculiarities in the throat. An outpatient operation might be required (such as removing the enlarged tonsils) to correct this and lessen the occurrence of snoring in toddlers and sleep apnea.
Home remedy for snoring in toddlers (including sleep apnea) is shifting them to another sleeping position. Studies concluded that snoring toddlers could breathe better when they’re made to lie on their side or stomach. Special pillows (available in the market) may also alleviate the condition of snoring in toddlers and sleep apnea.
In general, any child who snores is not getting enough sleep and sleep is essential for optimum physical, mental and emotional growth especially during the development stage. Your primary reaction once you hear snoring in toddlers should be never to neglect it. It could just be mild snoring (which can easily be corrected) or it could already be sleep apnea. So seek medical advice today.