Preschool-age children frequently have sleep problems such as insufficient sleep and sleep apnea that can lead to behavior and learning difficulties. Parents, however, often do not recognize sleep problems in their children. Making parents aware of what constitutes problematic sleep could help children receive appropriate medical or behavioral care.
Karen Bonuck, Ph.D., Kimberly Whitney, and colleagues examined whether staff in Head Start programs could screen for sleep problems in preschoolers and whether caregivers recognize those problems. The researchers interviewed 8 staff members and 59 parents of children at four Head Start sites. Staff members did well at screening for and detecting sleep problems in children and communicating their findings to parents but were less successful in convincing parents that their children had sleep problems. The findings indicate the feasibility of screening for sleep problems in early childhood settings. The study published online on February 7 in Behavioral Sleep Medicine; Ms. Whitney, a fourth-year medical student at Einstein, was the lead author.
Dr. Bonuck is professor of family and social medicine, of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, and of pediatrics at Einstein and co-director of the Rose F. Kennedy University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Einstein-Montefiore.
Posted on: Wednesday, March 15, 2023