If your toddler snores, don’t ignore it. Loud, constant snoring in 2- to 3-year-olds may be connected to behavioral problems, according to a recent study published online in Pediatrics. In the study, 9 percent of children who snored loudly were more likely to have behavioral issues than those who didn’t snore.
“Snoring in children is not normal,” says Dr. Richard M. Kravitz, a specialist in pediatric sleep disorders at Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center. “My rule is if your child snores, you have to ask more.”
According to Kravitz, snoring in children is caused by a narrowing of the upper airway, most commonly from either the way the child’s face and sinuses are developing, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, or being overweight. It may also be caused by poorly controlled allergies or asthma. Sleep apnea, a common disorder characterized by snoring accompanied by abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep, may also be to blame, because it can disrupt sleep.
“When an adult doesn’t get enough sleep, we are tired, grumpy and sluggish,” Kravitz said. "But children who are chronically tired can either be tired or may act out their sleep deprivation by becoming hyperactive. That can often lead to behavioral problems."
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