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Consistent Snoring in Toddlers Linked to Bad Behavior

8/13/2012 For Release:  August 13, 2012

Besides being an annoyance to anyone in earshot, loud, persistent snoring is also linked to cognitive and behavioral problems in preschool-aged children. According to the study, “Persistent Snoring in Preschool Children: Predictors and Behavioral and Developmental Correlates,” appearing in the September 2012 Pediatrics (published online August 13), study authors tracked 249 children aged 2-to 3-years of age who were reported by their mothers to be loud, persistent snorers. Study authors conclude that while many preschool children snore for brief periods (e.g., when they have a cold), loud snoring that lasts for months or years, is abnormal, and signals a sleep problem that could affect a child’s behavior during the day. These problems can include hyperactivity, inattention or depression. Motor development did not seem to be affected. The authors suggest that parents should tell the pediatrician if their child snores a lot, especially if it has been going on for a long time. There are treatments for sleep-related breathing problems. Study authors also agree that these findings offer more support for new mothers to initiate and stick with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding, especially for longer periods during infancy, seemed to protect against later snoring. 

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.