Snoring may affect child development - AmericaNowNews.com

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Kids who snore more likely to have behavioral problems when older

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Snoring has been tied to numerous diseases in adults, including a higher risk for obesity, heart attack, and diabetes. But according to new research, it may also be affecting kids and their development. 

A recent study finds children who have difficulty breathing during sleep may end up suffering from more than just sluggishness.

Cleveland Clinic Child Psychologist Joe Austerman says, "Most notably, what they looked for was children that were mouth breathers, children that snored, and children that had obstructed sleep apnea. They highly correlated that with hyperactivity, poorer ability to plan, or executive functioning and emotional problems.

And these behavioral problems are likely to follow little ones all the way through second grade. Results show by four years of age, children with sleep-disordered breathing were 20 to 60 percent more likely to display behavioral issues. By seven, that risk increases to 40 to 100 percent.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for snoring - symptoms may require attention as early as their first birthday. this may help prevent challenges later on.

"For adults, when you have a bad night's sleep, you don't function well the next day," says Austerman. "This is true for children and adolescents. When they don't sleep well they do poorer in school, this may translate into poorer self-esteem or poorer control of their behaviors. So I think it's a very simple message, and something that intuitively we know, but this research now backs that up scientifically that sleep is very important for kids."

Because it's critical for proper growth, causes of sleep disturbances, like enlarged tonsils or being overweight, should be addressed as soon as possible. Whatever the culprit, parents should be aware of their child's snoring to ensure they get the quality 'zzzs' they need for a healthy future.

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