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March 20, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Parents urged not to ignore snoring

MORE than a quarter of children suffer from sleeping disorders, local medical experts said yesterday after completing the nation's first research into the subject.

Their findings were released ahead of World Sleep Day which, in China, is tomorrow.

"Snoring is a common symptom among children with sleeping problem, and parents need to be aware of that," said Dr Jiang Fan from Shanghai Children's Medical Center and a member of Chinese Medical Association's pediatric branch.

"Snoring is wrongly considered an indicator of good sleep by parents, but it is just a signal of bad sleep," she said

"It can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition."

Snoring is caused by narrow airways while sleep apnea is a true breathing obstruction, which requires the sleeper to wake up to begin breathing again. The global incidence of sleep apnea is 1 to 3 percent.

"Parents should take their children to hospitals' sleep disorder clinics for professional diagnosis and treatment whenever detecting sleep problems for timely intervention," Jiang said.

The survey covered 30,000 children between six months and 10 from eight cities including Shanghai and Beijing.

It found that 27 percent of children had sleeping disorders which could hamper their physical and intellectual development.


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