With the arrival of autumn and the first cold weather, resuming school activities may seem more tiring for children too, but sometimes behind signs that may seem banal and linked to the season, there are alarm bells that are good do not neglect.
The results of a questionnaire carried out by FACExp, in collaboration with Key-Stone, a company specializing in market research, reveal that in Italian school classrooms one in 20 children shows signs of tiredness and inattention which may be related to sleep disorders.
Do you yawn at school? Sleep disorders, OSAS risk and skeletal problems
The research, conducted in the first part of 2023, involved 400 children between 3 and 15 years old and is based on a questionnaire distributed to parents by their orthodontist dentist. The methodology adopted to detect possible sleep disorders investigated, among other things, the symptom of tiredness and distraction during lessons reported by teachers.
Of all the “sleepy” children in Italian classes, approximately 1/4 present a set of further symptoms (strong and persistent snoring, difficulty breathing, and other sleep or behavioral disorders investigated) which could be indicative of a respiratory disorder called OSAS (Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome), a condition characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep due to partial or total obstruction of the upper airways, which affects at least 3 children out of 100.
Pediatric OSAS (Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome) and dental malocclusion
Recent scientific studies demonstrate that in approximately half of these cases of pediatric Osas it is a phenomenon linked to dental malocclusion, due to a narrow palate or poorly growing jaw, defects for which the intervention of the orthodontist can be decisive and which can be can be corrected with appropriate use of the device.
The pediatrician has a key role in the prevention of oral health problems, because an indication, in the case of Osas, for an orthodontic evaluation during childhood can avoid complicated procedures and specific surgical interventions in adulthood.
Sleep quality as an indicator of health in children
“The quality of sleep is a very important indicator of health even in children – comments Valerio Maccagnola, president of FACExp – for whom there is a wider margin for intervention than for adults for the prevention of important pathologies: pediatric OSAS can be associated with neurobehavioral and cardiovascular deficits, and also craniofacial and skeletal problems, which require timely recognition , diagnosis and treatment to avoid damage to health in later life. In case of symptoms, such as daytime drowsiness or snoring, it is advisable to subject the child to a pediatric polysomnography, a non-invasive nocturnal instrumental examination, useful for investigating the causes of sleep apnea in children”.
READ ALSO: The anti-caries diet and the rules to protect your teeth
Photo by Taylor Flowe