Does your child snore or have problems breathing while sleeping? A new study has found that it may be more serious than you would think. According to the latest research, kids who snore or who experience sleep apnea — long pauses in breathing during sleep — are more likely to develop behavioral problems than kids who breathe normally while asleep.


The study, published March 5 in the journal Pediatrics, evaluated data provided by parents of more than 11,000 children on sleep and subsequent behavior patterns. Researchers followed the children for six years and found kids with breathing problems during sleep were at least 40 percent more likely to develop behavioral problems, such as hyperactivity and aggression, by age 7.


"This is the strongest evidence to date that snoring, mouth breathing and apnea can have serious behavioral and social-emotional consequences for children," said lead researcher Karen Bonuck, a family medicine expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York.


The study's authors recommend that parents and pediatricians pay closer attention to snoring and sleep apnea in kids as early as a few months old. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, about 1 in 10 children snore regularly, and 2 to 4 percent have sleep apnea.


Is sleep apnea or snoring an issue in your house?