Childhood Headaches

Headaches in children are common but all may not be serious. Frequent headaches, worsening, severity and associated symptoms like recurrent vomiting needs expert opinion of Dr. Krupa Torne.
Also, headaches that interfere with daily activities must be treated. It is important to pay attention and keep track of these headaches and associated symptoms. Diagnosis can be made clinically and at times require MRI for more information.

There can be different types of headaches including migraine, stress related and chronic daily headaches. Treatment will be based on the type and cause of headache.

Childhood Migraine

What symptoms should you look for in your kids?

Generally, migraine pain may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, sounds or odors, and your child may want to lie down in a dark room. Also, be alert about unusual depression or
irritability in your child. People with chronic migraine, including children, are those who have migraine attacks at least 15 days per month. If he or she has experienced vomiting after a head blow or injury in sports or play, be on the lookout for evidence that he or she may have had a concussion.

Migraine Triggers

  • Lack of sleep: This is certainly one trigger, especially in teens who tend to get two to three hours less sleep than their younger brothers and sisters. Too much sleep can also bring on a migraine.
  • Diet: This means healthy eating but also not missing meals. Overall, the best diet is a healthy diet full of vegetables and fruits, and whole grains.
  • Menstruation: Teenage girls may get more severe migraines just before or during their periods.
  • Dehydration: Encourage your child to drink plenty of water.
    Stress: Worries about tests, family problems, bullying and teasing all affect young people.

Migraine can be Hereditary

Migraine headaches tend to run in the family. Around 50% of children and adolescents who experience migraines have an immediate family member with migraine. Migraines are different from headaches and require different treatments.

Treatment of Migraine

Migraine treatment is aimed at stopping symptoms and preventing future attacks. Many medications have been designed to treat migraines. Medications used to combat migraines fall
into two broad categories:

  • Pain-relieving medications. Also known as acute or abortive treatment, these types of drugs are taken during migraine attacks and are designed to stop symptoms.
  • Preventive medications. These types of drugs are taken regularly, often daily, to reduce the severity or frequency of migraines.

Your treatment choices depend on the frequency and severity of your headaches, whether you have nausea and vomiting with your headaches, how disabling your headaches are and other medical conditions.