Children represent a special population at risk because their sleep problems may go unnoticed and therefore untreated for years. Prevalence of sleep disorders in children is rising, with multiple contributing factors, e.g., technology interfering with sleep time, ADHD, and pediatric obesity. About one in ten parents/caregivers think their child has a chronic sleep problem, which we now know is a severe underestimation of the real prevalence. Based on NIH studies, 69% of all children experience one or more sleep-related problems at least a few nights a week. Education and being aware of risks and warning signs are the keys to expediting treatment.
High risk children include:
In 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines recommending that every child be screened for snoring as part of a regular health exam. The poll taskforce indicates that only 28% of school-aged children are asked about snoring and in some underserved regions as low as 13-18%. It’s important to understand that sleep apnea affects 1-3% of children, and more subtle problems with breathing during sleep may affect many others among the 10% or more of all children who snore regularly. These disorders could have important consequences on daytime cognition, behavior and development. The National Sleep Foundation website - www.sleepfoundation.org has provider and parent resources.
- Children with secondary enuresis, snoring, ADHD, behavioral problems.
- Children with special needs – seizures, strokes, sickle cell disease, neuromuscular problems, allergies, asthma, enlarged tonsils, and children with craniofacial abnormalities.
The Northeast Florida region now has two pediatric sleep centers that are available for consultation and referral. For more information and/or to make a referral, please contact: