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Ask A Pediatrician: Snoring Child

Q My child snores! Is that normal?

A If your child snores when they are sick, it can be due to swelling of the nasal mucosa and adenoids. It can also be due to nasal congestion. As long as it is intermittent and resolves, I would not worry. 

If your child snores when they are well, it is not normal and can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Depending on what age the child is and how severe the snoring is, you may need a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist.

In children less that 4, the face is growing rapidly. Children this age will often outgrow the tendency to snore. When a child has severe snoring or has spells where they stop breathing periodically during sleep, you need an evaluation regardless of age. Often large tonsils and adenoids are the source. Children with this will often have loud mouth breathing even when they are awake. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with poor sleep and inattentiveness during the day. It is also associated with behavioral problems. 

Please consult with your pediatrician for prolonged snoring. They may recommend a trial of antihistamines with a nasal steroid spray like Flonase daily which can help shrink swelling in the nasal passages. If this doesn’t work, a referral to an ENT can be made. 

 DR. CATHERINE PHILLIPPI is a pediatrician at TrustCare Kids in Gluckstadt, MS. Visit trustcarekids.com to learn more.

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