5 Tips to Help Children Who Suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious and common health condition that affects children, causing them to stop breathing and wake up multiple times throughout the night. Managing OSA in children can be challenging, but there are many ways to help ease the symptoms and help them sleep better. Here are five tips to help children who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
1. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
Providing a comfortable and calming sleeping environment can help reduce the symptoms of OSA in children and enable them to get a better night’s sleep. Comfort items such as a special blanket and stuffed animal, a nightlight, blackout curtains, and a white noise machine can all help create a soothing, distraction-free environment.
2. Safe Sleep Positioning
The position a child sleeps in can affect their OSA symptoms. Having your child sleep on their side or stomach can reduce the risk of their airway getting blocked as they sleep. If your child tends to sleep on their back, use a body pillow or foam wedge to keep them in a more side-lying position.
3. Monitor Weight
Being overweight or obese can put additional strain on the upper airway muscles and cause more severe OSA symptoms. If your child is overweight, help them towards a healthy weight through proper nutrition and physical activity. Encourage your child to make healthy lifestyle choices by providing them with nutritious foods and guiding them towards engaging in physical activity.
4. Avoid Sedatives
While sedatives such as sleeping pills and over-the-counter medications can help adults sleep, they can worsen OSA symptoms in children. Talk to your doctor before giving your child any form of sedatives, as they may be counterproductive to treating OSA in children.
5. Seek Professional Help
If your child is suffering from OSA and lifestyle changes do not seem to be enough to improve sleep quality, then professional help may be necessary. Speaking with your doctor about a referral for a sleep specialist can help treat your child’s condition and ensure they get the best care possible.
In conclusion, making lifestyle changes to help ease the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in children can make a tremendous difference in helping them get a more restful night’s sleep. Implementing the five tips outlined here can help create a comfortable, safe sleeping environment and help children manage their OSA symptoms.