Daily Herald: Sometimes snoring in children a sign of a medical condition that needs treatment, and the child should see their pediatrician.
“Approximately 10% to 20% of kids may snore. Snoring is a sign of disturbed airflow from the nose and mouth to the lungs. If there is something getting in the way of the air moving, then your child snores,” said Dr. Taher Valika, Lurie Children’s Division of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
Typical snoring could be described as audible breathing, and this may occur on and off throughout a night of sleep depending on the stage of sleep the child is in (light sleep, deep sleep or dream sleep). It can also depend on the sleep position of the child.
Light snoring is common in children and may not require medical intervention. Snoring may relate to position while sleeping. A child may be more likely to snore when lying on his or her back than on a side or stomach. It could also have to do with the level of congestion present from upper respiratory tract infections (colds) or allergies, or a number of anatomic variables. This type of snoring is considered “primary snoring.”
“Still, there are more severe cases when interventions might be required to open the upper airways, such as surgically removing the tonsils and/or adenoids,” said Dr. Kathleen Billings, also a physician in Lurie Children’s Division of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
Worrisome snoring is loud enough to hear down a hallway and may be associated with gasping, more labored breathing and what we call apnea pauses. It is not expected that a family member should recognize an apnea pause, but persistent, loud snoring is usually a good sign to the parent that the child should be assessed by their primary care provider.