Snoring Children May Have Behavioural Problem
Many if not most children snore on occasion, and about 10 percent or more snore on most nights. A child's snore may sound cute, or even funny, but habitual snoring in children may contribute to problems. A new study published online in Pediatrics claims that persistent and loud snoring in young children is linked with behavioural problem.
The director of the neuropsychology program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study Dean Beebe, PhD, claims that these problem range from hyperactivity to depression and lack of attention.
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"The strongest predictors of persistent snoring were lower socioeconomic status and the absence or shorter duration of breastfeeding," says Dr. Beebe. "This would suggest that doctors routinely screen for and track snoring, especially in children from poorer families, and refer loudly-snoring children for follow-up care. Failing to screen, or taking a 'wait and see' approach on snoring, could make preschool behavior problems worse. The findings also support the encouragement and facilitation of infant breastfeeding."
This is the first time that a study is being done to examine the relationship between the persistence of snoring and behavior problems in preschool-age children.
The study was conducted on 249 children where they took account other factors, including family income. The researchers surveyed the children's moms about their kids' sleep and behaviors. The study showed that children who snored loudly at least twice a week at the age of 2 and 3 had more behavior problems than children who either don't snore or who snored at 2 or 3 but not at both ages.
"A lot of kids snore every so often, and cartoons make snoring look cute or funny. But loud snoring that lasts for months is not normal, and anything that puts young kids at that much risk for behavioral problems is neither cute nor funny," says Beebe. "That kind of snoring can be a sign of real breathing problems at night that are treatable. I encourage parents to talk to their child's doctor about loud snoring, especially if it happens a lot and persists over time."
Researchers suggest that infant breastfeeding, especially over longer periods of time, seemed to protect children against persistent snoring.