Healthy Living Today: Kids and Snoring | Video| 11/8/2012
4 year old Luke Thorstenson has the run of the house every morning with baby brother Jack while their older sisters are off at school. And boy does he run; from under his bed, to his sis`s top bunk bed. Their dad, KSFY sports director Erik Thorstenson will tell you, Luke runs him ragged. The pre-schooler has way more energy in the morning than dad who usually works until midnight. The problem is Thor isn`t getting enough sleep and Luke may not be getting quality sleep.
"Oh yeah, we can hear him from our room," Thorstenson said.
Luke is a snorer.
"It wasn`t loud but it`s been pretty constant snoring ever since we brought him home. We had his tonsil and adenoids out and thought it would help and maybe it did but he does snore pretty much through the night," Thorstenson said.
Pediatrician Dr. Sam Schimelpfenig at the main Avera McGreevy Clinic in Sioux Falls says consistent snoring in children means interrupted sleep which could lead to behavioral problems including hyperactivity, aggression, depression, and inattention.
"I do ADHD evaluations on kids and that`s one thing I ask parents if they snore, how they sleep at night. One bad night of sleep for me and I`m grouchy the net day. These kids every single night they don`t get a good night`s sleep so at a baseline they are more irritable don`t pay attention as well symptoms almost identical to ADHD, " Dr. Schimelpfenig said.
"He is naughtier than the rest of our 3 children. It seems like when mom and dad are around even more so late in the day. I don`t know if that`s normal tiredness or maybe he is getting up or not sleeping as well because he snores," Thorstenson said.
Dr. Sam suggests running a humidifier every night in the child`s bedroom and try using a wedge pillow to keep their head elevated to see if that will help. Usually tonsillectomies help, but clearly like in Luke`s situation, it isn`t a cure all for every child.
"It doesn`t work for everyone. For some people it`s the way their anatomy is put together and they just snore. Watch them closely. Watch his blood pressure to make sure they aren`t developing sleep apnea, "Dr. Sam says.
On their doctor`s recommendation, Thor and his wife Amy will continue to not only watch Luke, but listen to him too. They know there is a chance they`ll be hearing this (snore) for the next 14 years or so.
Sleep experts say parents who have kids who snore loudly and persistently should inform their pediatricians as soon as they can. Snoring, especially in children, should not be ignored.