Sleep apnea has long been considered a medical concern for older people, but the reality is quite different.
Children, from infancy to adolescence, can also suffer from sleep apnea.
According to American Family Physician, "Obstructive sleep-disordered breathing is common in children. From 3 percent to 12 percent of children snore, while obstructive sleep apnea syndrome affects 1 percent to 10 percent of children."
However, ignoring the signs and symptoms of underlying obstructive sleep apnea in children as a problem "they'll grow out of" is a mistake. (What is obstructive sleep apnea or OSA?)
While some children might be able to escape a lifetime of sleep breathing problems once they've finished growing and developing, many do not. Regardless, those who have sleep apnea still suffer many of the same discomforts of uncontrolled OSA that bedevil their older counterparts.
Untreated sleep apnea threatens the overall health and well being of any child, leading to problems with behavior, obesity, chronic medical conditions like diabetes, depression, and much more.
Both parents and pediatricians need to be on the lookout for the signs, symptoms, and causes of childhood sleep apnea.