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Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children

Sleep apnea and snoring in children are most frequently caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids but may also occur due to insufficient facial bone growth that may result in significant crowding and misalignment of the teeth. Consultation with an ear, nose and throat specialist is necessary for diagnosis and treatment of this condition. An overnight sleep study may be necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Surgical removal of the tonsils/adenoids is often necessary. Nasal surgery is occasionally required to allow easier passage of air through the nasal cavity. Treatment may also involve an orthodontist to expand the upper jaw and increase the size of the airway.

Questions to ask about your child:

While sleeping, does your child...
1. snore more than half the time?
2. always snore?
3. snore loudly?
4. have trouble breathing, or struggle to breathe?
5. have “heavy” or loud breathing?

Have you ever...
6. seen your child stop breathing during the night?

Does your child...
7. tend to breathe through the mouth during the day?
8. have a dry mouth on waking up in the morning?
9. occasionally wet the bed?

Does your child...
10. wake up feeling un-refreshed in the morning?
11. have a problem with sleepiness during the day?
12. have a teacher or other supervisor commented that your child appears sleepy during the day?
13. wake up with headaches in the morning?
14. Is it hard to wake your child up in the morning?
15. Did your child stop growing at a normal rate at any time since birth?

This child often...
17. does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
18. has difficulty organizing task and activities.
19. is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
20. fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
21. is "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor."
22. interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).