Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1371-1372

Sleep Apnea

  • David J. LozanoAffiliated withPediatric Pulmonary Division, Children’s Hospital of Alabama


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea; Sleep disordered breathing


Childhood obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by repeated episodes of partial or complete upper airway obstruction that occur during sleep that are usually associated with disruption in gas exchange and/or sleep fragmentation.



Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is a spectrum that encompasses primary snoring at the mild end of severity to classic obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) at the more severe end. Upper airway resistance and obstructive sleep hypoventilation are part of this spectrum and are felt to be less severe than outright obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. OSAS is characterized by repeated episodes of upper airway resistance along with partial or complete airway obstruction during sleep. These episodes can be associated with ventilation and/or oxygenation disturbances. A degree of sleep fragmentation can b ...

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