Is your child snoring? Are you thinking about how to stop a child from snoring? Then this article is for you. In this article, I am going to explain everything about child snoring that you need to know as a parent. You’ll gain knowledge on what causes snoring in children, how to diagnose a child’s snoring, what are the ways to prevent snoring in children and lastly, how to treat snoring in children.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
How To Stop A Child From Snoring?
I have written a detailed article explaining all the home remedies that are effective against snoring. I’ll highly urge you to give a look at my article on home remedies to stop snoring.
These are some of the best ways to stop snoring in children:
1. Use This Mouthpiece:
I have seen lots of anti-snoring devices, and frankly, most of them are just a waste of money. But not this mouthpiece.
This is a very simple little mouthpiece that will stop snoring in your child right away. It doesn’t require any special procedure to use the mouthpiece. All you need to do is insert the mouthpiece into your child’s mouth before sleeping.
According to my experience, this mouthpiece is currently the most time and cost-effective approach to stop snoring, whether you are a child or an adult.
2. Saltwater Nasal Spray:
Inflammation is one of the most common reasons for snoring. Infections, colds, infections of the sinus etc can lead to inflammation inside the nose. Inflammation causes swelling of the soft palate, which vibrates when one sleeps. As a result, this vibration results in snoring. There is an easy way to deal with this swelling.
All you need to do is use a homemade saltwater spray inside your nose. Take half a cup of boiled water. Mix about a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt. Mix the solution thoroughly until the salt dissolves. Keep the solution inside a nasal spray bottle.
Before your child goes to bed every night, put 2-3 drops of the solution inside your child’s nose. One batch of the solution should only be used for 5 days. After 5 days, prepare a new batch.
I have written this article where I dive more into snore sprays and how they work to stop snoring.
3. Using Peppermint Oil:
Peppermint oil is a very renowned essential oil. It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. As I have already told one of the common reasons for snoring is inflammation, the anti-inflammatory property of the peppermint oil really helps to prevent as well as stop snoring.
Just take a few drops of peppermint oil and rub it under the nostrils of your child. It will ease the inflammation, reduce congestion which will make breathing easier for your child.
Another way to use peppermint oil is through steam inhalation. Just put a few drops of the oil in a boiling pot of water. Now put your child’s head over the boiling pot. Cover the head with a towel. Tell your child to inhale the steam. It is a great way to utilize the properties of essential oil to stop snoring.
4. Using Olive Oil
There is nothing new to say about olive oil. It has tons of good health benefits. In fact, all of us are using olive oil every day for hundreds of purposes. But most of us are not aware of the medical benefits of olive oil. Olive oil is a great natural remedy to stop snoring.
Olive oil moistens the throat tissues as well as the nose. As a result, the air faces less friction inside the nasal passages. It results in less snoring.
Before going to bed, feed your child 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You can even feed him more than once throughout the day.
5. Using Thyme Oil
Thyme oil is a popular name in the world of essential oils. Thyme oil is rich in antiviral, anti-parasitic as well as anti-microbial properties. Thyme oil is great for cold and sinus infections too.
You need to use a carrier oil to use thyme oil. The carrier oil can be olive oil. Mix about 3-5 drops of thyme oil with an equal amount of olive oil. Now use the oil mixture and rub your child’s feet with it. Also, if your child’s room has a humidifier, you can add a few drops of essential oil inside it.
Beware, if your child is under 6 years, do not use thyme oil.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is great for removing mucus from the throat and the nose. It can clear nasal passages very effectively. Also, eucalyptus oil is a great source of anti-inflammatory properties.
Like the process described before, inhaling the steam of eucalyptus oil will work magic to stop snoring in your child. Just add a few drops of the oil in a hot steaming pot of water and make your child inhale the steam. Make sure the head is covered with a towel to get the maximum steam possible.
Ask your children to inhale both through the nose and the mouth. This will solve any inflammatory issues inside your throat and nose as well as decongest the nasal airways. Ultimately, your child will enjoy a snore-less sleep.
7. Drinking Mint Tea
Mint is a rich natural resource of minerals, vitamins as well as antioxidants. All of them are highly beneficial for your child. Menthol is another great property of mint. Menthol works great to remove mucus from the throat and nose. It also helps to decongest the throat.
All you need is about 9 to 10 mint leaves. Take a cup of hot steaming water, through in the fresh mint leaves, and steep the leaves for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes have passed, strain the tea and add honey for some sweetness. Your mint tea is ready for drinking.
Give your child a cup of mint tea before going to bed. The tea will help a lot to clear up the nasal passages and stop snoring. Also, inhaling the steam of the tea will bring a positive result.
8. Having Ginger Tea
Ginger has been used for medical purposes for thousands of years. Ginger is rich in antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Another wonderful aspect of ginger is, it increases the production rate of saliva, which helps to keep the throat moist. This means the moist throat will prevent snoring in your child.
Take an inch-long piece of ginger, peel, and wash it. Now crush the ginger piece to release all the natural juice. Put the crushed ginger in a pot of water and boil it for about 5 minutes. Then take the pot away from the heat and steep the tea for an equal amount of time.
Your ginger tea is nearly ready. Now all you need to do is strain the tea and add some honey for sweetness. Honey is another natural resource for preventing snoring. It is highly lubricated and rich in antibacterial properties.
The ginger tea is great for soothing inflammation in the throat and nose. It will help your child to prevent snoring with time
9. Exercises for throat and tongue
Exercising the tongue and throat muscles will help a lot to prevent as well as stop snoring. Exercising helps to make the throat muscles firmer, which prevents them from falling backward. Consequently, the chances of snoring reduce.
Here are some popular throat and tongue exercises:
- For about 3 to 4 minutes each day, ask your child to loudly speak the English vowels. It is a great beginner exercise for throat muscles.
- This one is also very easy yet effective. Your child needs to close his mouth while pursing the lips. This position should be held for about 30 seconds. Doing this exercise 3 to 4 times per day will bring a satisfactory result.
- Here is another fun one. Ask your child to open his mouth. Then he needs to move the jaw to one side and hold that position for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, repeat the whole process but this time move the jaw to the opposite side.
Long-Term & Heavy Solutions To Snoring
Here are some long-term and heavy solutions to stop snoring in children. These solutions can be expensive and require an expert’s care. Moreover, you’ll need to exactly what is causing the snoring in your child.
Sometimes snoring can originate due to an enlarged tonsil or adenoid. If your child is suffering from snoring for this reason, then surgery can remove these enlarged glands. After the surgery, the snoring should stop and your child can sleep peacefully throughout the night.
However, it is extremely important to take your child to a medical specialist before making any final decision. The specialist should be able to find out if the snoring is due to any structural formation in the face, jaw, or throat. Then you can decide on the correct surgery accordingly.
Remember, surgery should be one of your last options. It should only be considered if all other options are not working.
If snoring is due to a structural problem, it is not necessary that surgery will be the only possible option to choose. The doctor can suggest you take your child to an orthodontist. This procedure requires your child to wear a special type of mouthpiece while sleeping. The mouthpiece is designed in a way that holds the lower part of the jaw in a frontal position which reduces the friction of the airflow and consequently stops snoring.
3. Using CPAP
The full form of CPAP is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is one of the most popular solutions to snoring at this time. CPAP is widely used worldwide to treat problems related to sleep as well as sleep apnea.
There are many types of CPAPs. However, for children, it is recommended to use the Auto CPAP. The Auto CPAP can automatically detect the abnormalities of the breathing and thus adjust the air pressure.
While using CPAP, your child needs to wear a face mask when sleeping. The mask is connected to a pump. The pump provides a positive airflow to the nasal airways and thus keeps the airways open.
4. Diet & Exercise
Obesity is one of the most common reasons for snoring. If your child is overweight, then you should try changing the diet as well as encourage your child to do regular exercises. Diet with proper exercise can make your child’s snoring disappear fairly quickly.
Why does Snoring Occur In Children?
Allergies can be a very common reason for snoring in children. In today’s time, many children are sensitive to pollens which causes blockages in the nostrils, making breathing harder. As the airflow faces heavy obstruction inside the airways, snoring occurs.
2. Enlarged Glands
Sometimes enlarged glands (such as tonsil or adenoid) can restrict or partially obstruct the airflow, thus causing snoring. Adenoids are located near the nasal airways whereas you can find the tonsils near the anterior region of the mouth. If these glands get swollen due to any reason, it will result in snoring.
In fact, it has been found that some children are affected by chronically inflamed tonsils and adenoids. As a result, the snoring always continues.
3. Blocked Airways
The nasal airways can get blocked due to many reasons, the most common ones are cold and a sinus infection. This blockage restricts airflow through the airways and encourages snoring.
4. Deviated Nasal Septum
The nasal septum is simply the boundary between two nostrils. It is what separates the two nostrils. The Nasal Septum is made of tissue and cartilage.
Some children, from birth, have a deviated or crooked nasal septum which makes the two nostrils irregular: one bigger than the other or vice versa. The small nostril restricts airflow and makes breathing harder. Consequently, it leads to snoring.
As I have said earlier, obesity is one of the most common reasons for snoring. If your child is obese, the extra fat around the throat can obstruct the airflow, leading to snoring. In addition to that, obesity is bad for health in hundreds of ways. You should encourage your child to do daily exercises and follow a healthy diet.
6. Genetic Problem
There are some health problems due to a genetic disorder such as muscular dystrophy, Down’s syndrome, cleft palate which cause children with these problems to suffer from a weak muscle tone. These problems can result in snoring.
Asthma generally occurs due to inflamed nasal airways. Asthma makes breathing very difficult, especially for children. It can lead to snoring.
8. Passive Smoking
A recent study has shown that children that are exposed to passive smoking face many health issues from an early stage of life. Passive smoking is simply when someone else smokes around your child and your child gets exposed to the smoke.
There is no need to explain how bad smoking is for the lungs. Moreover, being exposed to passive smoking, your child can suffer from irritated nasal airways which can partially block the airways. All this ultimately leads to snoring in children.
Signs Your Child Is Suffering From Snoring
There can be many symptoms of snoring in children. Moreover, the symptoms may vary according to age. Here are some of the most common symptoms of snoring in children:
Symptoms Observed In Young Child
- Not eating properly
- Very low body weight
- Not seeing any significant development milestones etc.
Symptoms Observed In Older Child
- Lack of focus
- Not very attentive to study or facing difficulty in learning
- Sometimes getting aggressive
- Sudden change in personality
Here are some symptoms of sleep apnea in children:
- Regular snoring with loud noise
- Inability to breathe for a few seconds while sleeping
- Sudden wake up from sleep, gasping for air
- Poor quality of sleep
- Being tired throughout the whole day
- Inability to focus on study or any work
- Headaches during the whole day, especially in the morning
- Being aggressive
- Suffering from a mood change
- Sudden change in behavior
- Wetting bed accidentally
How To Diagnose Snoring In Children?
The symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea in children are very much similar to children suffering from a hyperactive disorder. That’s why it is very important to diagnose the snoring properly so that the correct treatment can be prescribed.
Before going to the doctor, take a pad and list out all the symptoms that your child is showing. The doctor will have a better chance of properly diagnosing snoring with these symptoms.
Here is how to diagnose snoring in children:
Generally, diagnosing snoring is done performed in a sleep center. The procedure that your child needs to go through is officially known as Polysomnogram. The study will take place overnight. So, you need to bring PJs and other items that your child needs for sleeping. While your child is sleeping, you’ll closely observe the sleeping pattern and inform the doctor if your child is showing any behaviors that are dissimilar to when he sleeps at home.
Before your child goes to sleep, the doctor will attach several sensors to your child’s body, especially in the chest, face, leg, and hands. There is no need to worry. These sensors are just to observe what happens in your child’s body while he sleeps. These won’t cause any pain. Once your child goes to sleep, the sensors will start to send information to a remote computer from where the doctor can properly diagnose the snoring.
The sensors send information related to your child’s brain waves, heartbeat, and breathing. The doctor studies the reports and gets extensive knowledge on your child’s muscle tone, eye as well as leg movements when he sleeps.
The Polysomnogram reveals if your child is suffering from normal snoring or sleep apnea. It also indicates how severe the problem has become.
Complications Related To Snoring In Children
There can be many complications related to snoring in children, especially if the child is suffering from sleep apnea.
Here are some of the complications explained in brief:
1. Poor Sleep Quality
If your child is suffering from sleep apnea, he’ll go through discontinuities of breathing several times during the night. As a result, the sleep quality will degrade alarmingly and the child will be tired throughout the whole day.
Poor sleep quality is enough to make the whole day bad. It will make your child grumpy, he won’t be able to focus on school and he’ll also be sleepy throughout the whole day.
2. Wetting The Bed
I have seen that in many cases, children who snore wet their bed often. This is because the anxiety to sleep makes your child’s body not respond to the cues to pee. This leads to bedwetting, which could further cause a mood change in your child.
3. Having Nightmares
Not urinating when required, can result in a loss of sleep which further results in nightmares and other night terrors. This also degrades the quality of sleep.
4. Sudden Change In Behaviour
The symptoms of sleep apnea are pretty much similar to the symptoms of ADHD. Snoring, especially if your child suffers from sleep apnea makes your child hyperactive and disruptive throughout the whole day. Due to the sudden behavioral changes, it can be pretty hard to manage your child.
Also, your child will be unable to concentrate on anything or do what he is being told to.
5. Facing Difficulties In Learning
Our brain goes through most of the development during our childhood. Mainly this development process occurs when we sleep. But if your child suffers from snoring or sleep apnea, it will make it harder to breathe during sleep. As a result, less oxygen will reach the brain.
As a result, the brain can’t develop properly which leads to various learning difficulties. This is because, when the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, the brain cells start to die. This directly affects the cognitive ability of your child which leads to poor performance throughout the day.
6. Risk Of High Blood Pressure
Waking up several times during the night from sleep and lack of oxygen to the brain leads the nervous system to go ON and OFF. This continuous change puts pressure on the heart. If this happens on a regular basis, soon your child will start to suffer from high blood pressure. This makes your child prone to hypertension when he becomes an adult.
7. Eating Out Of Stress
Feeling extremely hungry all of a sudden is a side effect of sleep apnea. As the body wakes up several times from sleep, it wants more calories, fat, and sugar. This leads to an unhealthy diet which will make your child overweight within no time.
I have written earlier about obesity being a very common reason for snoring. So the more overweight your child is, the more prone to snoring and sleep apnea he will be. Thus the condition will worsen with time.
How To Prevent Snoring In Children?
There goes a saying “Prevention is better than cure.”
It is always better to take proper steps to prevent soring in your children rather than trying to treat snoring. Here are some preventive measures you can take to prevent snoring in your children:
1. Installing A Humidifier
A humidifier can help your child in many ways. It prevents seasonal allergy, cold and stuffy nose which is commonly responsible for snoring. As the humidifier increases the humidity of the room, it will help to decongest the nose and prevent snoring at a larger scale.
One thing to be noted: most humidifiers come with two settings: cool mist and warm mist. Try to use the cool-mist configuration as the warm one can produce steams.
2. Changing Sleep Position
Not only children, but people who sleep on their back are also more prone to snoring. It is because, when someone sleeps on their back, the uvula relaxes, which creates an obstruction to the airflow. The best position to sleep for snoring is on any side.
3. Elevated Sleeping
It has been found that elevated sleeping helps a lot to prevent snoring. The elevated position helps to decongest the nose as well as prevent congestion in the nose. This prevents snoring.
There is no need to do anything fancy for elevated sleeping. Just place an extra pillow under your child’s head and shoulder. This would work fine!
4. Installing An Air Purifier
Allergens are largely responsible for snoring in children. Dust allergens are particularly mentionable for this. These allergens are responsible for nasal congestion which causes snoring.
To keep these allergens at a minimum level, installing an air purifier will do the trick. The air purifier will effectively remove all the dust allergens from the room. This is especially helpful if your child is prone to an allergic reaction.
5. Using a Nasal Wash
Mucus is largely responsible for obstruction of airflow through the throat and nose. An easy way to get rid of excess mucus from the throat is by using an over-the-counter nasal wash. A nasal wash also helps to remove allergens from the nasal passages.
By removing the mucus, the airflow will face much less friction, which will result in less snoring and easier breathing!
6. Using A Nose Strip
Nose strips are commonly available in a local drug store or pharmacy. If you are not aware of these, nose strips are simply sticky strips that get attached to the nose and prevent snoring. Nose strips are particularly helpful if your child has a deviated septum.
So, this is my detailed guide on how to stop a child from snoring. I have explained pretty much everything I know on this topic. Hopefully, it will give you a clear idea of snoring, especially snoring in children.
Dealing with snoring in children can be a complicated process, so you need to know what you are doing. Follow the tips mentioned in this article. And of course, do not hesitate to ask the help or suggestion of a sleep expert if necessary.
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