Snoring in children is not entirely unusual. Your child might snore in their sleep occasionally, probably due to tiredness, which is generally not a cause for concern. However, consistent or heavy snoring might mask a deeper problem. Hence, you might need to visit a doctor to explain your kid’s situation.
This article provides several tips that would help calm your child’s snoring. Before the recommendations, we would like to walk you through a few causes of snoring in children. Understanding the causes often helps parents make better choices while tackling snoring issues in their kids.
Causes of Snoring in Kids
According to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring is essentially noisy breathing while sleeping. Constricted airways limit the airflow to your child’s lungs. As a result, the laryngeal cartilages vibrate noisily, producing the gurgly or grunting sound you hear.
Several factors could be responsible for limited airflow through your child’s airways. Some of them are listed below.
- Large tonsils: Your child might snore heavily or frequently if they have larger-than-normal tonsils. Tonsils are located at the base of the larynx, so large tonsils will markedly obstruct the normal airflow to your kid’s lungs. Since tonsils are part of the immune system, infections could result in enlarged or inflamed tonsils. It could also be a condition from birth.
- Cold and allergies: Your child is likely to snore in cold conditions because of congested airways. The trachea’s mucus prevents the normal air from passing through, leading to snoring. Like feathers and some fabric types, allergens could also inflame the throat, causing tracheal congestion.
- Obesity: Obese kids run a high risk of snoring. The excess fatty tissues will practically compress the airways–trachea, and larynx–limiting air and causing deep snoring.
- Asthma: Asthmatic patients experience several partial airway constrictions. Such constrictions could result in snoring in kids.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: OSA is a condition where the individual experiences a pause in breathing while sleeping. Most kids that have OSA snore heavily, with short gaps between breaths.
These factors predispose children to snore. Depending on the severity of the condition, your child might snore lightly, as seen in congestions, or snore quite heavily, as seen in OSA patients and obese kids.
Basic Home remedies to calm your Kid’s Snoring.
The snoring might be due to your child’s positioning on the bed if the above factors are not observed. Some home remedies you could try to calm your kid’s snoring include:
- Rolling them onto a side while they are sleeping. Sleeping on your back could move your uvula–a portion of the soft palate–to the back of your throat, causing snoring.
- Ensure their rooms are free of allergens and contaminants. A contaminated sleeping environment can aggravate the snoring, even if it is not the direct cause. You could use an air purifier to eliminate pollen and dust, which could trigger congestion if your kid is allergic to them. You can also replace their feather pillows and beddings if they would cause hypersensitivity reactions.
- Helping your kids maintain a healthy weight calms their snoring. You can place them on special diets and sufficient daily physical activity to encourage weight loss in overweight children.
When to See a Doctor
You should consult a pediatrician in severe cases or when the home remedies don’t work. Then, your kid might have to undergo tests, including a night study, so the doctor makes the proper diagnosis.
Although tonsillectomy is considered in severe sleep apnea cases, it is still an option if your child has enlarged tonsils. After such tests, surgeries, especially adenotonsillectomy, are one of the standard solutions to calming snoring in kids. You might also have to consider using Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) devices to keep the airways clear while your kid sleeps. PAP devices are often used if the snoring persists after tonsillectomy.
In summary, snoring in kids occurs as a result of several factors. You could use some home remedies as immediate solutions before seeing a doctor for proper analysis.