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Why does my four-years-old child snore?

Q: My four years old daughter has never been a good sleeper. She overtires herself and sleeps at around 10 pm no matter whether or not she takes naps during daytime. At times she snores and even if she doesn't, her mouth is always wide open while sleeping. I generally close her mouth and she tends to be fine but her breathing becomes relatively heavier than usual. My other child finds the breathing sound disturbing and they can't sleep in the same room. Hence, we have had to juggle rooms to let both of them sleep in peace. Is there something wrong with my daughter? Does snoring and breathing heavily while sleeping indicate some serious health problem?

A:One of the conditions that's often missed in kids is sleep apnoea. It is a condition where the child might stop breathing during sleep. Often symptoms of such a sleep disorder include heavy breathing, snoring, mouth breathing, and brief pauses in breathing during sleep witnessed by parents. From your description, it seems like your child has some of these symptoms, so the possibility that she might have this condition. I suggest you see a sleep specialist or a physician who can evaluate for sleep apnoea in kids for further evaluation/tests/diagnosis and treatment.

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