Kid's Sleep Apnea

Signs and symptoms of kids with OBS

Clues in medical history about sleep breathing disorder

  • 40% of OSA patients bedwet after 2 years of age
  • 40% of pediatric OSA patients snore
  • Nasally obstructed breathing
  • Large tonsils
  • Attention deficit/Hyperactivity disorder
  • Failure to thrive
  • Hypertension
  • Behavior problems
  • Delayed development motor skills

Causes of sleep apnea

The list below has been implicated in respiratory obstruction, mouth breathing and sleep disordered breathing in kids:

  • Dental malocclusion
  • Narrow adenoid facies
  • Large tonsils
  • Chronic allergies

Example of nose breathing


This child is a nose breather. She is sleeping with her mouth closed and with her tongue in the roof of her mouth. This facilitates normal growth of the palate, broad dental arches, straight teeth and a beautiful smile.

Example of mouth breathing


These kids are sleeping with their mouth open. Nasal breathing is obstructed and the tongue is in the floor of the mouth, making them breath through the mouth. This will affect their facial development and the position of their developing teeth.

Example of Normal vs. Obstructive Sleep


Consequences of sleep disordered breathing
- not the same as those found in adults

  • Children usually do not display sleepiness
  • Acting out their tiredness with inappropriate emotional behavior
  • Extremely short attention span
  • Delayed development of motor skills
  • Lower level of academic achievement
  • Slow cognitive development
  • Diminished ability to develop and sustain an organized, future-oriented, and flexible approach to problem solving (executive dysfunction)
  • High incidence of ADHD
  • Hyperactivity problems

If untreated, symptoms are likely to become worse.

Please click the links below for additional resources about Kid's Sleep Apnea.

Factors affecting growth and contributing to sleep apnea

Signs and symptoms of kids with OBS
Causes of sleep apnea
Nose breathing
Mouth breathing
Normal apnea vs. Obstructive sleep
Other disorders associated with sleep apnea
Importance of early diagnosis
Results of sleep apnea in children
Facial growth

Home Sleep Monitor for kids to evaluate sleep patterns