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Children With Sleep Apnoea - Three Things Every Mother Should Know

Does your child seem more tired than normal? When you check on them at night are they snoring quite loudly? It is probable that your child is suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA.) As a mum, it is important that you know about this dangerous condition, so here are three of the most important questions answered.

What Is Sleep Apnoea?

Sleep apnoea can show itself in a number of different ways in your child. The most common one is breathing difficulties while they are trying to sleep.

You will know that they are having difficulties if you hear very loud snoring, you notice that their breathing seems laboured while sleeping, or you notice pauses in their breathing while they are asleep.

The reason why this condition is so dangerous is that your child may be regularly stopping breathing while they sleep. This leads to a lack of oxygen to the brain, and that over time can be very dangerous to your child's overall health.

Why Does Sleep Apnoea Happen?

There are several reasons why your child may be experiencing OSA. These include:

  • Enlarged tonsils. Between the ages of 2 and 7, your child's tonsils experience their most growth. When the tonsils get too large, they can cause a blockage at the back of the throat, and this can lead to breathing problems while they are sleeping.
  • If your child is overweight, they are more likely to experience OSA. Increased fat within the neck area, or a larger than normal tongue, is suspected of leading to breathing problems.
  • Downs Syndrome children have an increased risk of OSA because they have weaker muscles in the face.
  • Those children with small jaws are also reported to be at risk.

Your child's paediatrician can examine your child if you suspect OSA is present, and confirm the medical reasons that your child is experiencing this problem.

How Will Your Child's Sleep Apnoea Be Treated?

The reason for your child's sleep apnoea will determine what type of action can be taken. For example, a child who has enlarged tonsils can have them surgically removed. An overweight child can be placed on a diet and exercise program to help reduce the extra kilos they are carrying.

However, for a child where the problem cannot be remedied by surgical or medical intervention, a sleeping machine may be the technology you need to help them sleep safely at night.

A sleeping machine consists of a mask that your child will wear each night while they sleep, and the body of the machine which is connected to your wall socket. The machine pumps oxygen into your child through the mask, and helps them to achieve a better sleep every night.

It is important if you suspect your child is dealing with OSA, that you make an appointment with their paediatrician  as soon as possible. If there is a problem, your child's doctor can recommend a specialist at a clinic like Ansteys Healthcare. Obviously, no mother wants to watch their child struggle with breathing every night, so early intervention can help your child feel as good as new in no time.