If you hear your son or daughter snoring, it should not be ignored. Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, which requires immediate attention. You might be aware of what sleep apnea is due to the existence among adults, but it is not only restricted to adults–children can develop it too. Sleep apnea is actually one of the most common reasons children need their tonsils or adenoids removed. 

Sleep apnea and children

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when something is blocking the airway, such as your child’s tonsils, while central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. 

Symptoms of sleep apnea among children often include the following:

  • Snoring
  • Hyperactivity
  • Trouble focusing in school
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Bed wetting

Unfortunately, some of these symptoms can often be confused for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Many children will get labeled as being “hyperactive,” but that isn’t always the correct diagnosis. It is important to look at what is causing these behaviors. 

If you are worried about your child’s sleeping patterns, it is important to bring that to the attention of your dentist or your family physician. 

Finding treatment

Due to the misdiagnosis of ADHD, sleep remains important for your child’s overall health and well-being. Sleep apnea can be treated with an oral appliance to prevent your child’s tongue from blocking their airway, or a CPAP machine might also be an appropriate treatment option.

Contact your dentist for more information on sleep apnea and why it is important to get your child diagnosed and properly treated.