Sleep apnea in children causes more than snoring
Some short and long term health problems can be avoided by treating sleep apnea in children.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A team of medical experts and the American Heart Association report that 1 to 6 percent of children have sleep apnea. This could mean that a few students in a given class sleep less than everyone else. Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Carissa Baker-Smith of Nemours Children’s Hospital in Delaware says there are more issues that can arise than just problems with studies.
“We also know that with heart attack and heart disease, sleep apnea is associated with a worsening scenario, hypertension and obesity,” says Dr. Baker-Smith. “But it starts in childhood.”
Now that you know the issues, what should you actually be looking for? For starters, that’s what you listen to: sniffle, gasp, or snore loudly every night. These breathing problems signal trouble sleeping, which can mean a lot of fatigue for your children every day.
Dr. Baker-Smith puts it in perspective: “I say to parents, ‘Remember the last time you were awake all night. How did you feel the next day? Was it really hard to concentrate? ‘ So imagine if your child, several times an hour each night, cannot get a restful sleep because he wakes up from apnea.
Getting this diagnosis and proper treatment can reduce problems down the road, but there’s a good chance you’ll remember a sleepless night and know how good you feel when you get a deep sleep.
“If you got a good night’s sleep,” says Dr. Baker-Smith, “you feel so much better the next day. You are not as restless, you have no difficulty concentrating or processing.
Here at the start of the school year, it’s probably best to get up on the correct side of the bed, so to speak.