Snoring in Children: Causes and Treatment Options

Are you concerned about your little one’s snoring? You’re not alone; many parents worry when they hear their children snoring during the night. If your baby or toddler is having difficulty sleeping, it may be due to frequent snoring that is associated with underlying health issues. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the potential causes of snoring in young children and explore available treatment options so you can make a more informed decision regarding your child's care. We know how tough parenting can be – especially when it comes to caring for our little ones - but rest assured knowing that there are several solutions for helping reduce nighttime snoring in children!

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Common Causes of Snoring in Children

Let’s take a closer look at the most common causes of snoring in children and what you should do if your little one starts to make noise while they sleep. 

Nasal Congestion 

The most common cause of snoring in children is nasal congestion. When the nose is congested, it can block airways, which makes breathing difficult—and noisy! Colds and allergies are the main culprits when it comes to nasal congestion. If your child has a cold or allergies, try using a saline spray or humidifier to help reduce any blockages in their nose before bedtime. 

Enlarged Tonsils & Adenoids 

Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can also cause kids to snore. The tonsils are two lumps of tissue located at the back of the throat that help trap germs from entering the body. The adenoids are similar lumps located further back in the throat near the sinuses. When enlarged, these lumps can restrict airflow during sleep and cause loud snoring noises. If your child has enlarged tonsils or adenoids, their doctor may suggest having them removed to reduce snoring symptoms. 

Allergies & Asthma 

Allergies and asthma can also contribute to loud snoring in kids by causing inflammation in their airways during sleep, making it difficult for them to breathe normally without making noise. Allergy medications like antihistamines can help reduce inflammation and open up airways so that breathing becomes easier (and quieter!). In severe cases of allergic-induced asthma, your child's doctor may prescribe an inhaler to provide relief from wheezing or coughing at night.  

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How to Diagnose Snoring in Children

snoring child

The first step to diagnosing snoring in children is to identify the cause. Here are some tips for doing that: 

  • Observe If Your Child Has Any Allergies or Respiratory Issues- If your child does have allergies or asthma, talk with their doctor about ways to manage them so they don’t interfere with sleep. 
  • Check for Enlarged Tonsils or Adenoids- Tonsils are two small lumps located at the back of the throat that help fight infection but can become enlarged due to frequent illnesses like colds or flu and block airways while sleeping. Adenoids are small structures located between the nose and throat that can also become enlarged due to infection or allergies and lead to snoring when inflamed. If this is an issue for your child, surgery may be necessary to remove the obstruction from the airway so they can breathe freely while sleeping. 
  • Look at Their Weight and Activity Level- Overweight children are more prone to snoring because extra fat deposits around their neck can narrow their airways as they sleep leading to difficulty breathing which causes loud snoring sounds. Make sure your child gets enough exercise each day and eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables so they maintain a healthy weight for their age group (check with your pediatrician for recommendations). 
  • Watch Out for Changes in Sleep Position- Children often move around a lot during sleep which can cause them to roll onto their back where gravity pulls down on their throat muscles making it harder for them to breathe properly resulting in loud snoring noises throughout the night (this is called positional apnea). To prevent this from happening, have your child sleep on his/her side instead of on his/her back which will reduce restriction on their airways while sleeping so they don’t have as much difficulty breathing during sleep time hours leading to less loud snoring sounds throughout the night!   

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Treatment Options for Children That Snore

sleeping and snoring baby

Let’s take a look at some of the most common treatments and how they can help your child stop snoring:

Change Their Sleep Position 

If your child tends to snore more when she sleeps on her back, try putting her down to sleep on her side or stomach instead. This can help reduce the amount of snoring and also keep her airway open for better breathing throughout the night. Be sure to make sure she does not roll onto her back while she sleeps as this can be dangerous. If you're worried about SIDS, make sure you have an appropriate monitor set up so that you can check on your child during their sleep without having to enter their bedroom. 

Use a Humidifier 

A humidifier can be helpful in reducing snoring because it adds moisture to the air which helps keep nasal passages clear and less likely to vibrate or collapse when your child breathes in and out at night. Make sure you clean your humidifier regularly to prevent bacteria build-up and other health hazards. You can also use a saline spray before bedtime to help keep nasal passages moist and clear as well as any nasal congestion that may contribute to snoring. 

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Taking Care of Your Snoring Child

It's important to note that snoring is not always an indication of illness or disease in children; many healthy children simply have naturally narrow airways that make them prone to snore at night. However, if your child has been consistently snoring for some time now without any signs of improvement then it may be worth exploring further treatment options with your doctor or pediatrician. Whatever you decide, remember that early intervention is key when it comes to helping your child breathe easier at night.

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