London - A recent study found that children who snore are more likely to misbehave. That may sound strange, but suffering breathing problems at night can cause poor-quality sleep, which in turn is associated with grumpiness, bad behaviour, headaches, and difficulty concentrating at school.
What are the causes of snoring in children?
The most common reason for childhood snoring is having large adenoids or tonsils. These partially block the windpipe during sleep, restricting the movement of air and causing snoring. Children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections are more likely to snore, as are those with allergies. The latter cause inflammation of the airways, which inhibits the flow of air in the windpipe.
I have heard that children who are breastfed are less likely to snore. Why is this?
The aforementioned study indicated that breastfeeding wards against persistent snoring, but it is unclear why this is the case. The most likely explanation is that breastfeeding offers protection from allergies and upper respiratory tract infections in those under one, which contribute to snoring in this age group.
What should I do if my child snores?
The appropriate course of action very much depends on whether the snoring causes a problem. If your child snores but is not troubled by it, there is no need for medical intervention. Many children snore due to large tonsils or adenoids, and it has no effect on their life. If there does seem to be a problem – such as recurrent infections or behavioural issues – it is worth a GP review to determine whether the tonsils are very large. - - Mail On Sunday