If you are parent then you are probably living under the constant worry of keeping your child secure. Not just from the physically harmful things, but from natural diseases too.
Sleep apnea in children causes severe insomnia, forcing them awake by thoughts running through their head constantly. A condition a child cannot explain is any parent’s worst nightmare, you want to help but you can’t because you have no idea where to even start.
Here are a few signs and symptoms of child obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to look out for.
What you need to know
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs in up to 3% of children worldwide. It can be genetic, and effect newborns even. Symptoms or conditions to look at include the following.
Note that there can be symptoms other than the listed below.
- Enlarged tonsils/adenoids
- Tongue has inflammation (swelling)
- Decreased muscle mass
- Nightmares or Night Terrors
- Always tired
Sleep apnea in your child can cause a major concern and should be kept a close eye on. Observe your child’s behavior and habits closely, and keep notes to show your doctor.
These are also signs that should be observed if they occur in frequent patterns.
Is your child snoring unusually loud for his/her age?
If yes, then keep track of their bedtime habits and any snacks they are having before bed. Make any healthy changes you can in their routine, and if the snoring has not disappeared, then you should see your child’s primary care provider.
Insomnia and/or Restless Sleep – if your child is resisting going to bed, keeps waking up at intervals or simply cannot sleep then you should be concerned. Notice the pattern over a course of a week and see if the issue can be resolved.
Children have a source of energy that adults don’t. If your child is particularly lazy or less inclined to do things or is frequently sleepy during the day, chances are he/ she isn’t sleeping very well at night. Sleep apnea could be the cause of these symptoms and you should consult with your doctor to explore it further.
Headaches in the Morning
Is your little one complaining of headaches when they wake up?
Sleep apnea effects oxygen circulation in your body during the night. This can cause headaches in the morning when they wake up. Waking up frequently throughout the night doesn’t allow your child’s body to go through a complete REM cycle, which can cause these harmful symptoms. If your child is not coming to you with the problem, but you notice their sensitivity to sound and light, take note of it and go see your child’s doctor.
Choking or Coughing upon Awakening
Sleep apnea can also cause your kid to choke or cough right after they wake up. If the discomfort from gasping for air is too apparent on his/her face then you need to be concerned. This could be another symptom from waking up again and again throughout the night.
Do not rule out a sore throat as a seasonal change or a common cold. If this happens quite often, then your child may be suffering from sleep apnea.
If you child is showing any signs of symptoms listed in this article, seek medical advice from your child’s primary care doctor.