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Can Secondhand Smoke Increase Your Child’s Risk of Sleep Apnea?

March 17, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakton @ 6:59 pm
young girl plugging nose around secondhand smoke

If you’re a regular smoker, you’re probably not too worried about the impact it can have on your body. Nevertheless, have you thought about what it could be doing to your children? Secondhand smoke can have all types of dangerous side effects on growing bodies. For young children, that may include an increased risk of sleep apnea. Read on to learn more about the effects secondhand smoke can have on your little one’s rest.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly throughout the night. Children with this condition usually experience a drop in their oxygen levels, which can be harmful to their development. Additionally, since their breathing is interrupted while they’re asleep, they wake up more frequently to get some air. Because of that, they won’t be getting the full night of sleep needed to grow up healthy.

The Relationship Between Secondhand Smoke and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is actually quite rare in children. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll never fall victim to it. A study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology found that the odds of children between the ages of three and 18 developing sleep apnea became much higher if they were exposed to secondhand smoke. Those same children were almost more likely to suffer from a severe form of the disorder. Of course, the relationship between secondhand smoke and sleep apnea is still under research.

Signs Your Child May Have Sleep Apnea  

If your child is unusually sleepy during the day or has difficulty paying attention, that may indicate they’re not getting enough sleep. While they’re sleeping, listen closely to detect repeated pauses in their breathing. It’s worth noting that chronic, loud snoring is also a hallmark symptom of sleep apnea.

The best way to confirm whether or not your child has a sleep disorder is to have them undergo a sleep study. A special device is used to monitor your little one’s vitals throughout the night, watching out for signs or patterns that could indicate anything abnormal. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, you can explore options for your little one.

Smoking doesn’t just affect your health – it can have an impact on your children too. Kick this habit to the curb to reduce your little one’s chances of developing sleep apnea. In doing so, you can help them grow up to be happy and healthy!

About the Author

At Oakton Dentistry by Design, we strive to provide the highest quality dental care for patients of all ages. Our skilled and friendly team wants everyone to enjoy an overall better quality of life. If you think your child may have sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to bring them in for a study. You can make an appointment via our website or call (703) 938-4300.

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