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Melbourne study reveals snoring could impact kids’ health more than just disturbed sleep

Grant McArthur, April 17, 2017 6:00PM Herald Sun

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SLEEP is vital for human health because it allows the body time to recharge, grow and develop, but when sleep is disrupted, such as by snoring, the impact on health can be serious.

A new study has found children who snore are at risk of long-term harm to their heart and brain function.

Brain scans of Melbourne children have shown that in those that snore, areas of the brain connected to blood pressure, mood and behaviour were injured.

Blood pressure is the force with which blood moves around the body and it can be a problem when it is too high or too low.

A study of more than 260 children by a Monash University team found increased blood pressure levels, higher reports of poor behaviour and reduced intellectual ability among young snorers.

With up to 30 per cent of children snoring, study leader Professor Rosemary Horne said parents needed to understand the risks.

“This is affecting how they behave at school, how they learn at school, their blood pressure and also we now have evidence that there are changes to their brain,” Prof Horne said.

“What we want to know now, is that if you treat these children whether the deficits* we see in the brain can be repaired. But nobody knows that yet.”

The most common treatment for problem snoring is surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids. Adenoids are a section of the throat that cause problems.

Natalie Ravi-Pinto and her son Julian. Picture: Nicki Connolly media_cameraNatalie Ravi-Pinto and her son Julian. Picture: Nicki Connolly

The study of 136 7-12 year-olds, and 128 3-5 year-olds, revealed their blood pressure improved when reviewed three or four years after treatment.

However, Prof Horne warned that although children’s behaviour had improved slightly in those that had been treated, it still lagged behind classmates who had never snored.

Like many parents, Natalie Ravi-Pinto had no idea of the impact her son Julian’s snoring was having on his waking life.

When he was aged three, Julian had his enlarged* tonsils and adenoids removed after he was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea* and his life instantly improved.

“It was an immediate* improvement, it was unbelievable,” Ms Ravi-Pinto said.

“It’s great that we managed to get on top of it before he started school before it could have caused other issues.”

GLOSSARY

deficits: problems

enlarged: bigger than usual

deficit: an amount by which something is too small

obstructive sleep apnoea: a sleep condition

immediate: instant

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. Snoring Pamphlet

Have you ever been in the waiting room at the doctor’s surgery and noticed the pamphlets they have available with information about different medical conditions?

Design a pamphlet like this about snoring.

Your pamphlet should include the information you think is most important for a patient to know.

Extension:

Create a printable copy of your pamphlet using a suitable computer program such as Microsoft Publisher.

Time: allow 45 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English

Activity 2. Similes

A simile is a figure of speech that describes one thing by comparing it with something else.

Similes can be written in two formats:

1. as _________________ as ________________ (eg as loud as a jet plane)

2. like a ______________ (eg like a lion)

Think of 10 different similes that could be used to finish the following sentence”

“The old fellow was snoring …”

Extension:

Choose your best example from the activity above and extend your piece of writing into a short story.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English

VCOP ACTIVITY

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Vocabulary Four Square

There is some really ambitious language being used in this article, with most of it being highlighted and defined in the glossary for you.

When we discover wow words in our reading, writing or through speaking and listening, we need to think not about the definition for these words or phrases so that we understand what it means.

We then need to practise using it ourselves to embed the learning.

Your task is to use Vocabulary Four Square Template on at least three words or phrases in the article that you find ambitious. They do not have to be ones from the glossary, but if they are, you must create a new definition for them.

These vocab charts can be displayed on your vocabulary board in the classroom or in your English book to help you when you are writing.

VOCABULARY FOUR SQUARE TEMPLATE

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write and VCOP

Activity provided by Andrell Education www.andrelleducation.com.au

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