It may be funny when Big Bird does it, but if your child snores all night, health experts say you should be concerned rather than amused.
According to a new study, children who are chronic snorers are more likely to have behavioral problems such as aggression and hyperactivity.
Researchers studied nearly 250 children who snored at both age 2 and age 3. Of those kids, 35 percent showed signs of behavioral problems, while only 10 percent of non-snorers exhibited signs of behavioral issues. The study also found that 12 percent of kids who snored for one year showed such signs.
In other words, snoring has ill effects on kids and parents should do whatever they can to ensure their children get a good night’s sleep.
One way to achieve this is to realize that snoring is not something that should be taken lightly. According to health experts, when a child snores it’s because he or she is having difficulty breathing during sleep. This could be a direct result of a cold, allergies or enlarged adenoid glands. Regardless of the reason, snoring disrupts sleep by restricting oxygen and requiring more effort to breathe.
“It’s not like in the cartoons, where snoring is what signifies sleep,” the study’s lead author noted.
Researchers go on to say that consistent snoring over months or years can negatively affects a child’s mood and brain. Top neurologists note that “lack of proper sleep inhibits the development of pathways between neurons in the brain.”
If you are concerned about your child’s snoring, experts say it’s time to consult his pediatrician. Fixing the underlying cause of snoring will allow your son or daughter to get a better night’s sleep and any behavior problems that stem from grumpiness due to fatigue should be alleviated.
Bottom line: Well-rested kids beget better behavior… and happy parents.