Snoring in children

Estimated Duration: 
1 hour

Snoring occurs in approximately one third of children. About 10% of these children snore every night. Uncomplicated snoring is at one end of the spectrum of what is termed ‘sleep-disordered breathing’ (SDB) and severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is at the other end. It is estimated that OSA affects approximately 3-5% of normal children.

The adverse consequences of unrecognised OSA in children include hypertension and poor sleep quality which can impact on daytime behaviour, development and learning. It is particularly important to formally assess children at higher risk for OSA, including those with Down syndrome, obesity, previous cleft, craniofacial abnormalities or neuromuscular weakness.

A formal clinical assessment is therefore required to determine which children with snoring potentially have OSA (which has negative consequences even in mild cases and can be present in young children as well as older children) and which children with snoring need additional management. For this reason, it is important that symptoms of sleep disordered breathing are sought in any child with:

  • snoring
  • enlarged tonsils
  • complaints of disturbed or unrefreshing sleep.

Learning objectives for this course:

  • Know how to assess a child who has snoring.
  • Understand the potential health consequences of sleep disordered breathing.
  • Know how to diagnose a child with obstructive sleep apnoea.
  • Know how to manage a child who has snoring.


Once you have completed this short course and quiz, please click 'submit' where you will be taken to the results page. From here you can print your certificate for 1 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hour.


This course was created by Dr Karen Falloon MBChB, FRNZCGP, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland in 2018.

The material is presented by the Goodfellow Unit (GFU), an accredited continuing medical education/ continuing professional development (CME/CPD) provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and functions under a tripartite agreement between the Goodfellow Foundation, the College and the University of Auckland. The Unit is located within the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and within the School of Population Health.


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