Does My Child Have Sleep Apnea? - A Quick Quiz

Does My Child Have Sleep Apnea? - A Quick Quiz

Does My Child Have Sleep Apnea? Recognizing the Signs

Sleep apnea isn't just an adult problem. Children can also experience this sleep condition, where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. If you're concerned that your child might have sleep apnea, learning the signs and seeking an evaluation is essential for their health and well-being.

Types of Sleep Apnea

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common type, and it occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, often due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This type is less common, and it involves the brain failing to signal the muscles responsible for breathing.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Children

Unlike adults, children with sleep apnea might not always snore loudly. Pay attention to these key signs:

  • Breathing Pauses: You might notice your child gasping for air, choking, or having pauses in breathing during sleep.
  • Restless Sleep: Tossing and turning, unusual sleeping positions, and sweating during sleep.
  • Mouth Breathing: Your child might sleep with their mouth open.
  • Daytime Tiredness: Despite sleeping through the night, your child appears tired and unfocused during the day.
  • Behavioral Changes: Irritability, hyperactivity, or difficulty concentrating in school.
  • Bedwetting: Even if already potty-trained, a child with sleep apnea may start wetting the bed.


QUIZ: Does My Child Have Sleep Apnea?

QUIZ: Does My Child Have Sleep Apnea?

Instructions: Answer "Yes" or "No" to the following questions about your child's sleep habits. If you answer "Yes" to several questions, consider consulting your child's pediatrician.


  1. Does your child snore loudly most nights of the week?
  2. Does your child ever seem to stop breathing or gasp for air during sleep?
  3. Does your child breathe primarily through their mouth, even during the day?
  4. Is your child often restless during sleep, tossing and turning excessively?
  5. Does your child struggle with bedwetting (even if they were previously potty trained)?
  6. Does your child complain of morning headaches?
  7. Does your child seem excessively tired or irritable during the day?
  8. Does your child have trouble concentrating or focusing in school or at home?
  9. Has anyone commented that your child seems hyperactive?
  10. Does your child have a history of ear infections or throat problems?


  • 3 or more "Yes" answers: Indicates a higher chance of sleep apnea. Bring these results to your child's doctor for evaluation.
  • 1-2 "Yes" answers: Could be due to sleep apnea or other sleep issues. Monitor your child and keep your doctor informed if the issue persists.
  • All "No" answers: Sleep apnea is less likely but still possible. Consult a doctor if you have concerns about your child's sleep quality.

What To Do If You're Concerned

  1. Track Your Observations: Make a note of any sleep problems your child is having, including the frequency and severity.
  2. Consult Your Pediatrician: Discuss your worries with your child's doctor. They can assess the situation and recommend the next steps, which may include a referral to a sleep specialist.
  3. Sleep Study: If sleep apnea is suspected, the sleep specialist might recommend a sleep study (polysomnogram) for a diagnosis.

Resources for More Information:

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