Is your child snoring at night? Mouth breathing when sleeping?
Sweating heavily? Moody, cranky or showing behavioral
problems during the day? These are symptoms of sleep apnea in children
that may need medical attention.
(OSA) is the single most common type.
An affected child will have
blockages during naps or nights: she will stop breathing for several moments,
then wake up briefly, gasping for breath.
This can occur up to tens of times each night, or during naps.
About 1-3% of children (between 2 and 18 years old) will have a
form of it at some point, which is quite a large number. Between 2 and
years old is the peak age, but
apnea in babies
Needless to say that it's a disorder that prevents good
quality naps and nights. It also brings along serious health problems and may be
dangerous. That's why
is so important.
But sadly, it all too often goes
Because the symptoms are not always crystal clear. Let's have a look.
differences between the symptoms in children and in
In adults already it goes undiagnosed all too often, but the
symptoms in children can be even more hidden, making a quick and correct diagnosis even
start with, you
notice that your little one wakes up
of times each night. She may wake up briefly, catch her breath, and go
Even though she gets very poor nights in this way, she
may not even
seem extremely tired
during the day (the main difference
with the symptoms in adults!). On the contrary, a sleep apnea child
during the day. Or be quite moody or show
As soon as you have any hint that your child may suffer from a form of
apnea, see your doctor of paediatrician for a check-up.
diagnosis will be done by a specialized
pediatric sleep center
will be used for the OSA diagnosis.
polysomnography monitors sounds (snoring and gasping for breath) but
also breathing, brain waves, muscle tension and oxygen levels. It's an
overnight test which is either done at the pediatric center or at home with
a home monitoring kit.
Treatments for Sleep Apnea in Children
The main cause in young children is relatively
and adenoids (those glands at the back of the throat and
behind the nose).
The most effective classic medical treatment then is the removal of
those through a so-called
(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine can be used.
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 14+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.