New guidelines for kids' snoring

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A child's snore may sound cute at first, but it could be a sign of more serious health issues.

“There is just so much information that needs to be reviewed in well child visits and so the concept of snoring is often times forgotten by the pediatricians and parents forget to mention it, as well,” said Dr. Rupali Drewek, Sleep Clinic director at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

It’s a subject the doctor said shouldn't be ignored. Snoring could be a sign your child suffers from obstructive sleep apnea.

“We become more concerned if snoring is causing daytime sleepiness,” Drewek said. “If there are a lot of awakenings at night. The child is showing signs of morning headaches and causing their grades to decline.”

Reasons vary from enlarged tonsils to obesity. But the doctor said if left untreated, kids could face serious health problems down the road.
 
“It can cause problems such as developmental delays, growth issues and pulmonary hypertension,” Drewek said.
 
But change is on the horizon. The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out new guidelines that all children and adolescents be screened for snoring at their well child visits, as well as take part in sleep studies if they present with symptoms.     

“I think parents are really grateful when the problem is detected because there is a fairly easy solution to it,” Drewek continued. “And when diagnosed and treated a lot of those issues that they're exhibiting at night or during the day go away.”

The treatments include removing their tonsils or losing weight.
 
“I think that this is part of preventive medicine and it's very important to keep all of our children healthy,” Drewek said.

The complete list of guidelines can be found in the journal Pediatrics.