Pediatric Sleep Apnea

Pediatric sleep apnea is very similar to adult sleep apnea, however there are a few differences.  Adults will usually experience daytime sleepiness, while children are more likely to have behavioral issues.  Obesity is one major cause of adult sleep apnea and can play a role in pediatric sleep apnea as well.  But the most common cause of pediatric sleep apnea is enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent complications that may affect children’s growth, cognitive development, and behavior. Pediatric sleep apnea should not be left untreated.


While the most common sign of sleep apnea in adults is snoring, children suffering from sleep apnea may not snore at all.  Children may simply have disturbed or restless sleep.  Symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea may include, but are not limited to:

  • Snoring
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Disturbed or restless sleep
  • Snorting, coughing, or choking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Bed wetting
  • Sleep terrors

Risk Factors & Side Effects

Risk factors may include, but are not limited to:

  • Obesity
  • Down syndrome
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • History of low birth weight
  • Cranial/facial abnormalities
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Family history of obstructive sleep apnea

During the day, side effects of pediatric sleep apnea may include, but are not limited to:

  • Poor performance in school
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Learning problems
  • Poor weight gain
  • Hyperactivity


If you suspect your child may have sleep apnea, please call our office or your pediatrician for a possible evaluation.

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