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More Solutions to Your Child's Sleep Problems

Four childhood sleep scenarios, and what you can do to rest easy

Toddler sleepingLiz Banfield

Problem: Your child snores. It’s keeping you or a sibling who shares the room awake.
 Why it Happens: About 80 percent of all children snore at some point, says Nina Shapiro, M.D., an associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at UCLA’s School of Medicine. Most grow out of snoring by about age six as their facial shape and airways mature. However, Shapiro says, allergies can also cause a child to snore. He’ll mouth-breathe (loudly, usually) if his nose is stuffy, so allergy medicine might be worth considering (talk to a pediatrician first). Heavy snoring shouldn’t be ignored, though, since it can disrupt a child’s sleep and may be the first sign of obstructive sleep apnea (see the following item), a serious health condition.

 How to Rest Easy: If your child snores loudly and regularly, talk to your pediatrician. Your child may have extra-large tonsils or adenoids, and your doctor will probably recommend that they be removed. Tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are usually done on an outpatient basis, and your child will most likely be up and about within a week. You should also ask the surgeon about Coblation tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, an advanced procedure that reduces damage to surrounding tissue and has a faster recovery time. Another cause of snoring in kids that is increasing is obesity. The extra tissue that gathers around the neck presses on a child’s airways. If weight is an issue, talk with your doctor about safe ways for your child to drop the pounds.


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