A recent study in Hong Kong identified certain dangers that are associated with snoring, particularly when it comes to the health of children. The study determined that roughly one in eight children throughout Hong Kong, or roughly 12.7 percent of children, snore when they sleep. Unfortunately, snoring can be a sign of a serious sleep disorder and parents should be aware of the potential dangers associated with the habit.
Risk of Snoring
According to UCLA, almost 20 percent of children snore occasionally; however, the children who are at risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea are those who snore on a regular or nightly basis.
The risks associated with snoring include:
- Increased risk of developing high blood pressure at a young age
- Higher risk of obesity
- Developing behavioral problems similar to attention deficit hyper-activity disorder
- Lower levels of oxygen in the blood during sleep
While it might seem cute when a child snores, it can lead to serious health concerns when it occurs regularly. Over time, the possibility of facing serious health concerns that are related to hypertension, obesity or anxiety can increase.
Who is impacted?
The study in Hong Kong discovered that obstructive sleep apnea is more likely to develop in boys who are classified as obese or who have developed asthma. Although the study in Hong Kong suggested that boys have a higher incident, UCLA notes that girls have as much risk as boys when it comes to obstructive sleep apnea.
Warning signs that the condition may develop include:
- Sleeping in awkward positions
- Snoring on most nights
- Breathing stops for short periods during sleep
- A child suffers from regular headaches, particularly in the morning
- Sleep is not restful and a child is irritable or grumpy throughout the day
Parents should pay particular attention if there is any sign that a child stops breathing at night or snores very loudly. Behavioral problems do not always relate to sleep apnea, but it can be a sign of the condition when it is combined with snoring, regular headaches or other signs of the condition.
When children snore, it does not always mean that a child is simply tired or sleeping in a funny position. It can be a sign of more serious concerns and parents should know that there are risks associated with snoring on a regular or nightly basis.