Statistics reveal that one out of ten children snore at sometime or the other during their childhood. While some parents choose to ignore this condition as a passing phase, others get worried, especially if the condition persists.
According to Marianne Davey, founder of the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association, snoring has become an increasing problem amongst kids. Though, in most cases, it is not alarming and could just be due to a cold, an allergy or even sleeping on the back, yet it is reason enough to have it medically investigated.
For nearly 2 to 3 per cent of children who snore, this could be the initial symptom of a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnoea.
Such children will snore loudly, have labored breathing and go silent for sometime before they gasp and start breathing again. It is serious because these interruptions in breathing can cause oxygen levels to drop which can affect the functioning of crucial organs like the brain and the heart. Children with this condition may not rest well in the night and may complain of a headache or wake up groggy.
The dangerous part is that this condition in children often goes undiagnosed. If it persists for several years, it can affect the child's performance at school and can also lead to behavioral problems.
'In sleep apnoea a child will stop breathing around ten times an hour or more (though it can be fewer). If this happens between 15 and 20 times a night it can cause these problems,' said researchers.
Parents must know that this condition can be treated and once it is done the child's performance at school also improves.
It is important that parents seek timely medical help for their child's snoring in order to offset any of the adverse health problems that can arise if the condition goes untreated.