(HealthDay)—Summer is the perfect time for children to have their tonsils removed, according to an expert.
"Kids need from 10 days to two weeks recovery time, so summer offers an ideal opportunity to get tonsil removal out of the way without interfering with school or winter holidays," Dr. Laura Cozzi, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill., said in a Loyola University Health System news release.
"Improving breathing, eliminating snoring and reducing colds and ear infections are usually the reasons for having tonsils removed—usually nothing life-threatening or urgent—so the surgery can be arranged when it is most convenient," she explained.
About 500,000 children in the United States will have their tonsils removed this year. Signs that a child may require a tonsillectomy include snoring and disrupted sleep.
"This lack of healthful sleep can cause irritability, poor performance in school and even in very rare cases, developmental delays," Cozzi said.
Many children have their tonsils removed between ages 3 and 7. "Tonsils usually shrink between the ages of 7 and 8. If they don't, many parents of these school-age children want them removed to prevent existing or recurring health problems," said Cozzi, who added that the surgery is now an outpatient procedure.
"Many parents remember staying in a hospital overnight as children after having tonsils removed, but today, the surgery takes about one hour and children go home to continue their recovery, which is less traumatic and preferred by parents and young patients," she said.
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The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about tonsillectomy.