Children who were persistent snorers were more likely to have been exposed to environmental tobacco smoke prenatally and into childhood. Snorers were significantly more likely to be black and to have a low socioeconomic status, according to the study.
The researchers didn't find any differences in motor development between snorers and non-snorers or transient snorers, but they did find that snorers were more likely to be hyperactive, depressed or inattentive.
Dr. Sangeeta Chakravorty, director of the pediatric sleep evaluation center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, wasn't surprised by the findings. "Snoring impacts sleep, and sleep loss impacts behaviors," she explained.
But, she noted that the study wasn't able to determine whether the behavior problems were just because the children were tired, or if their snoring was significant enough to cause a chronic lack of oxygen, because the study only included information from the children's mothers. There were no objective data, such as oxygen levels throughout the night.
Chakravorty added that snoring in this age group is actually common. She said enlargement of the adenoids was the biggest cause of snoring, followed by enlarged tonsils. Nasal allergies can also cause snoring, as can abnormalities in the facial structure or the structure of the airway. And obesity can cause snoring in children like it does in adults.
Both experts recommended bringing up any persistent snoring with your child's pediatrician. "If you hear your child snoring more than three to four times a week in the absence of an upper respiratory infection [cold], and it lasts more than a month, seek help from the pediatrician," Chakravorty said.
"There are treatments for snoring," said Beebe, who cautioned that parents should be prepared for the po
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