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Like adults, kids too can have medical conditions that interfere with their ability to sleep. Did you know around 12% of children snore habitually and up to 2% suffer from sleep apnea? Snoring is caused when the palate at the back of your mouth vibrates with every incoming breath, whereas, sleep apnea is any involuntary pause while breathing. This pause may or may not be due to snoring. Although with time most kids outgrow the condition, don't hesitate to take your doctor's opinion if your child snores heavily or feels sleepy during the daytime.
Although with time most kids outgrow the condition, don't hesitate to take your doctor's opinion if your child snores heavily or feels sleepy during the daytime. Dr Atul Mittal, Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, New Delhi explains the causes and complications of snoring or sleep apnea in kids.
Why do kids snore?
Obstruction of the airways is the common cause of snoring and sleep apnea. It leads to partial or complete blockage of the airway preventing air from entering the lungs. It is broadly divided into -- upper airway obstruction (UAO) and lower airway obstruction (LAO). Upper airway obstruction occurs in the area from the nose and lips to the larynx and can lead to a medical emergency in some cases. Lower airway obstruction can occur between the larynx and the narrow passageways of your lungs. Read about sleep disorders in children. Here are the top ten reasons for narrowing or blocking of the airway:
What will happen if left unattended?
If your kid is finding it hard to deal with sleep apnea or unable to get a good night's sleep, consult your doctor. It is important to resolve sleep issues at the earliest for your kid's sake. Not only does it help in fortifying your memory and learning abilities but poor sleep can impact immunity, blood pressure and growth in children. Moreover, fragmented sleep or lack of proper sleep drives the appetite for carbohydrate-rich foods which can lead to obesity. Sleep disruptions also affect your child's mental alertness, attention, concentration and also make her more physically impulsive, hyperactive or lazy. Here are 8 ways to ensure your child sleeps like a baby!
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