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Guardians of the Night - looking out for Paediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

 VitalAire - Avattvon is proud to be the official website sponsor of Guardians of the Night.

Guardians of the Night is a final-year project run by undergraduates from the Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Through this project, they aim to combat Paediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

Paediatric OSA is a breathing disorder that affects children, most of whom are between 2 to 6 years old. It is caused by a partial or complete obstruction of their upper airway, leading to breathing stoppages that last for at least 10 seconds. These stoppages, also known as apnoea episodes, can occur from 5 to 30 times in a night. Children may be awakened multiple times as a result, choking and gasping for air.

OSA impairs the quality of sleep these children get, this may result in an array of problems, ranging from short-term to long-term. Furthermore, sleep is crucial for a child's physical and mental development.

Most parents already check on their child when they sleep. So it's easy to simply add a few more things to look out for. There are three main symptoms of Paediatric OSA that you can observe during your child's sleep:

1. Observe for Restless Sleep

Your child may toss and turn in bed, and attempt to breathe very heavily. This shows that your child is attempting to adjust his/her posture to open up airway

2. Watch for Unusual Sleep Postures

Your child may extend his/her head out and back, and be in a posture that looks unusual. This includes lying on one's stomach or sitting upright to sleep. Your child has shifted into a position where their airway can be opened. When the airway collapses yet again, they will toss and turn until they find the next optimal position. An open-mouth posture may mean that your child is mouth-breathing, which is a clear sign of obstruction in the nasal passages.

3. Listen for Habitual Snoring

There would be snoring for 3 or more nights in a week. This is a result of vibration when a child’s upper airway is being blocked.

To learn more about Paediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and the Guardians of the Night project, click here.


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