Can Children Get Sleep Apnea?

Many people think of sleep apnea as something that happens to middle-aged men. In reality, it can happen to anyone, including children. Sleep apnea isn’t as common in kids and it is in adults, but it does happen, and it is becoming more prevalent. If your child is suffering from sleep apnea, his or her dentist may have a solution that can lead to more restful nights of sleep. Here is what you need to know.

Children and Sleep Apnea

According to statistics, up to 4% of children under eight years old may have sleep apnea. However, that number may actually be low. Pediatricians may under-diagnose sleep apnea in kids because they aren’t always looking for it. In many cases, children with sleep apnea are diagnosed with ADHD before getting an accurate diagnose of their issue, which could mean that many more children have sleep apnea than previously realized. It is estimated that up to 25% of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD actually have sleep apnea.

Different Symptoms

The symptoms for sleep apnea in children are often different than they are for adults. One major difference is that the loud snoring that is characteristic of sleep apnea in adults is seldom present in children. Kids are more likely to display symptoms that include mouth breathing, night sweats, and squeaking noises as they sleep. They often may appear moody, impulsive, and restless. Kids with sleep apnea often wake up with bed sheets that are unusually twisted and disheveled, as a result of their nighttime activity.

Treatment Options

Children are not typically good candidates for CPAP treatment. Instead, they can usually benefit from oral appliance therapy from a dentist. If your child has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, making an appointment with his or her dentist is a good step in finding an effective treatment.

John R. Carson, DDS can help patients of all ages overcome sleep apnea symptoms to get the rest that they need. For more information or to schedule a consultation for sleep apnea treatment in Tucson, please call (520) 514-7203.Source:


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