One critical area Dr. Crabtree emphasized in identifying sleep issues in children with cancer is educating parents on the need to look for this in their children. She said parents often do not recognize the level of sleepiness in their children and therefore do not seek treatment.
Explore this issue:August 2014
Dr. Crabtree highlighted the need for otolaryngologists to query children with cancer as well as survivors of pediatric cancer about their level of alertness. Children found to be excessively sleepy should be managed clinically to improve daytime alertness.
She also said current research is looking at rates of sleep-disordered breathing in children with craniopharyngioma over time, because it is known that these children are at significant risk for hypothalamic obesity.
Mary Beth Nierengarten is a freelance medical writer based in Minnesota.