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How to recognize and treat sleep apnea in toddlers

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Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Sleep apnea can be caused by a couple things:

*enlarged tonsils or adenoids

*being overweight

*certain facial characteristics (receding chin or cleft palate)

*children with down syndrome or other congenital conditions

There are many symptoms of sleep apnea in toddlers. The biggest symptom is snoring. However, you shouldn't immediately jump to conclusions if your child snores. Not everyone that snores has sleep apnea.

Another thing that could signify that your child may have sleep apnea is if your child breathes through their mouth most of the time...both at night and during the day. They may also:

*coughs or chokes at night

*restless sleeper

*sweats a lot when sleeping.

If you suspect that your child has sleep apnea, you will want to talk to their pediatrician, and if possible, take them to a sleep clinic and have a sleep study done. This way you know if they have sleep apnea or not!

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