Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders in Children—Red Flags in Pediatric Care

Sigalit Blumer, Ilana Eli, Shani Kaminsky-Kurtz, Yarden Shreiber-Fridman, Eran Dolev, Alona Emodi-Perlman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: In recent years, we have witnessed a growing interest in pediatric sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD). Although a Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ) exists and was found reliable in screening SRBD in children, many of the children remain underdiagnosed. The aim of the present study was to define anamnestic and clinical findings that can serve as red flags indicating the presence of SRBD in children. Methods: 227 children aged 4–12 years old were evaluated with regard to the following parameters: (i) anamnestic variables (e.g., general state of health, oral habits, bruxism, esophageal reflux, sleep continuity, snoring); (ii) clinical parameters (e.g., oral mucosa, palate, tonsils, tongue, floor of the mouth, angle classification, gingival health, caries risk) and (iii) presence of SRBD (through the PSQ). Results: Significant differences between children with and without SRBD were observed regarding continuous sleep, developmental delay, mouth breathing, and snoring. Taking medications for ADHD increased the odds of SRBD in children by over seven times, non-continuous sleep increased the odds of SRBD by six times, mouth breathing increased the odds by almost five times, and snoring increased the odds by over three times. Conclusions: Child caregivers from various fields (dentists, orthodontists, pediatric physicians, school nurses) should actively inquire about disturbed sleep, medications for ADHD, snoring, and mouth breathing among their young patients. Initial screening through a few simple questions may help raise red flags that can assist in the early detection of SRBD in children and lead to proper diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5570
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • ADHD
  • mouth breathing
  • Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ)
  • sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD)
  • snoring


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