Many children and teens have some kind of sleep disorder, whether it be sleep apnea, bed-wetting, periodic limb movement, narcolepsy, snoring or insomnia. Having one of these disorders can seriously affect your child’s daily routine, school performance and more.

Typically, excessive daytime sleepiness, learning or behavior problems, as well as many other symptoms, can be an indication of a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders have implications both for social-emotional adjustment and for school performance.

According to the National Institutes of Health, untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk for hypertension, hyperactivity, and may lead to irreversible neurological problems, learning disabilities, and aggressive behavior. Sleep-disordered breathing in children is a timely public health concern, given the increasing rates of obesity and hyperactivity in this population.

Symptoms for Your Child’s Physician to Check:

  • Scalloped borders of the tongue
  • Hyper-keratinized buccal mucosa (cheek tissue white)
  • Small airway observed with tongue forward
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Tooth damage due to grinding/bruxing
  • Swollen gums due to mouth breathing
  • High arched palate

Related Conditions & Risk Factors:

  • Loud, irregular snoring Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Frequent nocturnal urination/Bed-wetting
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Irritability
  • Craniofacial asymmetries Diabetes
  • Hyperactivity
  • Poor School Performance

Pediatric sleep specialists estimate that 20-25% of all children and adolescents have a correctable sleep disorder occurring some time between 2 – 18 years of age. Approximately 15% of all teens and children’s sleep disorders will not disappear without some type of medical treatment or behavioral interventions. Many of these sleep disorders in children and teens need to be corrected as soon as possible, because they impair students’ school performance, behavioral and emotional self-control.

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