Generally, a good number of children snore, and there is no need to worry too much about it. However, where snoring goes on for a long time, it might be a symptom of something more serious.
The cause of snoring usually determines the implication of a child’s snoring. Whatever the cause may be, there are proven ways to reduce snoring in children, and we have compiled them here.
Why Do Children Snore?
When an obstruction at the back of the throat prevents air from passing freely, snoring occurs. As individuals breathe in or out, the tissue around their airway vibrates, producing an audible noise. Several factors can block a person's airways and cause them to snore. Among children, the most common causes of snoring are:
Studies reveal that overweight kids are more likely to snore. As a result of obesity, the airway can become narrow, raising the risk of sleep-disordered breathing.
Cold-like symptoms can cause congestion, which can obstruct the circulation of air. Additionally, inflammation of the tonsils and adenoids can lead to congestion.
- Swollen or enlarged tonsils and adenoids
Tonsils and adenoids are found in the back of the throat that help the body fight infection. When tonsils or adenoids are larger or swollen due to infection, they can block the airway and cause snoring. In children, sleep-disordered breathing is most common due to this condition.
- Anatomic characteristics
Certain people have anatomic features that impair their ability to breathe normally at night. An example would be a deviated septum, in which the nostrils do not separate equally, which causes mouth breathing and snoring.
- Smoke from environmental tobacco sources (ETS)
Studies have shown exposure to ETS, also known as secondhand smoke, can impact breathing. Children who are exposed to ETS tend to snore more often.
- Air contamination
Poor air quality or excessive pollutants can interfere with normal breathing and increase the chances of frequent snoring in a child.
- Shorter breastfeeding duration
Snoring in children has been associated with reduced breastfeeding duration. However, it has not been explicitly determined why breastfeeding manages to reduce the likelihood of snoring. Still, it could be that breastfeeding helps to form an airway that is less inclined to snore.
The presence of allergies in the body can trigger flare-ups that irritate the nose and throat, making breathing hard and raising the risk of snoring.
Snoring can occur if asthma causes partial blockages of the airways.
- Sleep apnea
Snoring in childhood is also linked to obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is not unusual among children with obstructive sleep apnea, including breathing pauses like gasps. Snoring is common among children with OSA, but not all snorers have the disorder.
How To Reduce Snoring in Children
Generally, infrequent, light snoring goes away by itself in a short time. For many children, even habitual snoring is self-resolving and needs not to be treated. It is often essential, however, to take steps to prevent sleep-disordered breathing in children. Some steps that help reduce snoring in children include:
1. Sleep Hygiene
Improving sleep hygiene, including a child's environment and their sleeping habits, can aid children in sleeping better. Sleep hygiene improvements include establishing a regular sleep schedule, reducing light exposure and screen time before bed, and setting up a comfortable and quiet bedroom.
A significant action that can be taken to prevent snoring is sleeping on one's side. It has been noted that sleeping on the back sometimes forces the tongue into the back of the throat, partly blocking airflow. You might not need to do anything more than having your child sleep on their side to allow easy airflow and reduce, if not stop, snoring. Other Sleep habits that help reduce snoring include:
- Bed elevation: Elevating the bed of children may keep their airways open, thereby decreasing snoring.
- No taking sedatives before going to sleep
Despite the fact that these steps may be more like home remedies than medical treatments, they can be effective in treating snoring. Furthermore, if children snore, poor sleep hygiene may compound the risk of fragmented sleep, which can adversely affect behaviour, thinking, and health.
Among the most effective treatment options for children with sleep-disordered breathing is adenotonsillectomy, which removes tonsils and adenoids. In most cases, this technique is used to treat children with severe sleep apnea, although some children with primary snoring may also be candidates. In removing the tissue that blocks the airway most frequently, this surgery can reduce snoring as well as breathing pauses.
3. Positive Airway Pressure Devices
By supplying pressurised air through a mask and into the mouth and airway, a positive airway pressure (PAP) device prevents obstruction in the airway. There are two basic types of PAP devices: continuous (CPAP) and bi-level (BiPAP), depending on how they control the airflow. For children, PAP devices are reserved for OSA that persists after adenoids and tonsils have been removed.
4. Talk with a Doctor
It is important to discuss snoring with your child's doctor as the first step to reducing it. A doctor could detect signs of more severe sleep disorders or other factors contributing to snoring, such as asthma or allergies. Various tests, including overnight sleep studies, may be recommended to check for obstructive sleep apnea. It is important to diagnose snoring correctly to determine the best treatment options, and your doctor will be able to discuss the benefits and downsides of different treatments. Besides, they could also provide specific devices that can assist in reducing snoring.
5. We Can Help You with This
As earlier mentioned, one of the ways to reduce snoring and prevent its escalation is to get your children to practice proper sleep hygiene. There are certain science-based materials and products designed to help and assist your commitment to practice appropriate sleep hygiene. An example of such is our Cooling Bamboo Bedding Set and Junior Cooler Weighted Blanket.
Thanks to the highest quality materials used in DORMU products, your child is sure to have a peaceful night’s rest