Kids get Migraines too
Some estimate it as high as 10% of school age children that get migraines. But the tricky thing with kids is that they don’t get migraines the way adults do.
Tummy ache or migraine?
One of the key differences between adult migraines and kids’ is that kids can get migraines in their stomachs. Often kids will complain of pain in their stomach or vomiting and this can be a migraine. With or without head pain.
If they do have head pain it tends to affect the entire head rather than one side or the other like adults and attacks are often much shorter.
- Car sickness can be associated with migraine
- Episodes of dizziness
- Vomiting for no reason
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Disturbed vision
- There is a theory that colic is associated with migraines.
What to do
The best treatment for a child’s migraine is often rest. Any physical activity can often make the attack much worse. Even a 15 minute nap can help to relieve symptoms.
Regular exercise and ensuring regular, healthy snacks can help too.
If you suspect your child is having migraines regularly keep a headache diary. This will help you see whether there is a pattern or trigger for your child’s migraine. Some children get migraines with almost clock like regularity while others might be triggered by stress or other outside factors.
- Sleep – too much or too little. Regular bedtimes and getting up times can help
- Dehydration – a big one here in hot, sunny Spain
- Diet – just like adults some children have a food trigger
- Lack of food
- Stress – does your child get worse before exams or big events?
Migraines are easy to misdiagnose, they can be confused with eye problems, sinus problems or allergies. So keeping a diary can help.
If given early enough mild pain medication can be very effective in preventing the effects of a migraine so watch for the signs and encourage your child to tell you if they start to feel “funny”.
Medication is difficult as much of it is unsuitable for children.
Get a proper diagnosis and support.
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