Children with Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea doesn’t just affect adults, and often times it goes undiagnosed in children. Early treatment is vital in promoting positive long-term health and can help your children avoid many unnecessary health risks down the road. Explore the causes, symptoms, and solutions of pediatric sleep apnea. Dr. Rice will work with you to find the sleep apnea solution that will give your child the restorative sleep they need.

Causes Of Pediatric Sleep Apnea

One of the most common causes of pediatric sleep apnea is enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Additionally, factors like allergic reactions and asthma can contribute to making the problem more severe. Just like sleep apnea in adults, pediatric sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat relax during sleep and the airway becomes obstructed. When children don't get the oxygen they need, it can cause a number of problems that can be avoided with treatment.


There are many symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea. Some are more obvious than others. That said, they are all important to pay attention to and serve as warning signals that a sleep test is necessary. They include:

  • Snoring on a regular bases
  • Waking up with a gasp
  • Wetting the bed
  • Difficulty concentrating at school
  • Long pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Daytime Fatigue

Is It ADHD or Is It Sleep Apnea?

It’s possible for sleep apnea to be misdiagnosed as ADHD. When your child doesn’t get the sleep they need, they can be irritable during the day and have a hard time focusing. Many of the symptoms of sleep apnea overlap with ADHD so it is easy to initially mistake one for the other. The great news is that your child can take a sleep test to find out if it’s sleep apnea.

Treatment Options

There are many ways to reduce the effect sleep apnea has on your child and finding the right treatment plan is vital to their life-long success. CPAP works for many children and if it doesn’t, we also offer other alternatives. Dr. Rice can use an oral appliance to slowly grow the upper or lower jaw, treating the symptoms while working to solve the underlying cause. She can also treat children's sleep apnea with the Vivos DNA appliance-- a device worn at night, similar to a retainer.

Schedule a Consultation

Whatever the treatment plan you choose, we are here to help. Our talented team has the knowledge and experience to design a treatment plan that restores your child’s sleep so they can laugh, learn, and play without sleep apnea holding them back.


Practice Update Regarding COVID-19

To combat the spread of COVID-19, our office will only be offering virtual consultations to help evaluate the condition of your sleep apnea and discuss treatment options.


Please submit your information here for a call back from our team. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call at 615-373-4488 and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we look forward to providing you with the highest quality care once we are able to return to our normal hours.


Thank you!


Kellye N. Rice

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