Kids can show different signs and symptoms of sleep-related breathing disorders compared to adults.
The Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) threshold for adults to be diagnosed with sleep apnea – where the airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep – is five events per hour. For kids, as few as one event per hour is generally a concern and may warrant treatment. In addition, kids can show drastically different signs of sleep disturbances compared to adults.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Children
During the night, a child with sleep apnea may:
- Snore loudly and on a regular basis
- Have pauses, gasps, and snorts and actually stop breathing.
- The snorts or gasps may waken them and disrupt their sleep.
- Be restless or sleep in abnormal positions with their head in unusual positions
- Sweat heavily during sleep
During the day, a child with sleep apnea may:
- Have behavioral, school and social problems
- Be difficult to wake up
- Have headaches during the day, but especially in the morning
- Be irritable, agitated, aggressive, and cranky
- Be so sleepy during the day that they actually fall asleep or daydream
The BEARS questionnaire is a simple, effective screening tool for many sleep disorders. It can be accessed here. You are encouraged to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Charlie, who will assess your child to determine an accurate diagnosis. Please bring this completed assessment.