Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. The interruptions can last for just a few seconds but can also last longer. While sleep apnea in children is rare, it can occur. Oftentimes this is addressed with tonsil surgery, but the issue may persist even after treatment. A CPAP machine may be necessary to ensure your child gets a restful night’s sleep. Below you will find helpful tips on using CPAP for kids.
Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep apnea can have a number of harmful effects on children. This is because it affects both their quality and quantity of sleep. This can lead to mental health issues, chronic health conditions, and social, behavioral, and academic issues in school. Sleep apnea in children can result from a number of factors, including enlarged tonsils, enlarged adenoids, or obesity. Symptoms include snoring, gasping, and difficulty staying asleep. One of the serious consequences of being left untreated, it’s important to consult with a pediatric sleep doctor near you in NYC right away for support.
Using CPAP for Kids
Depending on the cause and serenity of your child’s sleep apnea, a CPAP machine may be necessary to address the issue. A CPAP (also referred to as “continuous positive airway pressure) machine is a common treatment option that offers a number of benefits. The treatment involves wearing a mask over their nose or mouth when they sleep. This delivers a constant stream of air pressure to keep their airways open. This is effective in preventing breathing interruptions when they sleep.
The benefits of CPAP include a reduction in snoring and daytime fatigue. This ultimately improves their overall health outcomes, including their development. If your child has been prescribed CPAP treatment, it’s important to work closely with a pediatric sleep specialist. They can ensure that the treatment is effective, the mask is properly fitted to your child, and that their underlying issues are addressed. If you think your child has some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, seek treatment right away.
Maximizing CPAP Benefits
Depending on how old your child is, it can take some getting used to their CPAP machine. They may be resistant, uncomfortable, and develop issues around going to bed. Work with your pediatric sleep doctor to find effective ways to ensure your child gets the benefits of CPAP.
Create a Bedtime Routine:
Children thrive when provided with a consistent routine. Create a bedtime routine that includes putting on the CPAP mask. Add something they enjoy to the mix as a bedtime story or calming music, can help ensure they are relaxed and comfortable.
Provide Positive Reinforcement:
Provide praise, age-appropriate rewards, and extra support as they transition into CPAP. You can also create a sticker chart showing the successful nights so they get motivated to keep their mask on all night. Work with their sleep doctor on strategies to support your child.
It can be frustrating if your child resists using the machine or if bedtime gets difficult due to the CPAP mask. Try to be as patient as possible and take care of yourself as well. Parenting can be difficult, so just know that this is a hurdle you and your child will get through in time.
CPAP for Sleep Apnea
If you think your child may be suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important to seek help right away. A pediatric sleep doctor can diagnose your child and find an effective treatment plan to address the issue. CPAP for sleep apnea is effective for both adults and children. Contact the team at Sleep MD today to schedule an appointment!