Migraines in Children
Young children who suffer from the symptoms of a migraine headache are often unable to convey what is wrong with them. But you might be able to diagnose the presence of a migraine if your child frequently feels sleepy and nauseous. In fact, should he or she then go on to throw up and, soon afterwards feel better, then this is a good indication of the presence of a migraine.
It is not uncommon for young children to get migraines either as approximately twenty per cent of children who do get migraines, have their first attack before the age of five. Other statistics tell us that migraines can occur in five per cent of children under the age of twelve with the figure rising to some twenty per cent in high school. In the same way that migraines are more common in females than males when adult, so it is with children although there is an age group of high incidence of migraines in boys between the ages of ten to twelve years.
The signs and symptoms of a migraine headache in young children include:
- General feeling of being unwell with abdominal pain, vomiting and a great desire to sleep.
- Being irritable or tearful.
- Rocking gently or actively seeking out a dark place to curl up and rest or sleep.
Once children are older, of course, they will be able to explain their migraine headache symptoms to you more easily.
A regular routine with healthy lifestyles can mean less likelihood of migraines in children.
- Regular healthy meals and snacks with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Avoid the infamous triggers for migraines such as cheese, processed meats, chocolate, caffeine, artificial preservatives and colorings together with anything else that seems to act as a trigger in your own child's case. Eliminate as much sugar as possible.
- Encourage drinking plenty of pure, filtered water in place of sodas and sugary fruit juices. Diet sodas are equally harmful.
- Ensure sufficient good quality sleep.
- Encourage regular outside exercise, being wary of over exertion as this can sometimes trigger a migraine.
Other triggers for migraines in children include:
- Extreme climatic changes.
- Being overtired, stressed or depressed.
- Any type of interrupted sleep or sleep deprivation.
- Certain foods as mentioned above as well as irregular meals or even hunger.
- In older children, menstrual periods or hormone fluctuations.
- The stimulus of computer screens, flashing lights, fluorescent lighting, strong smells.
How to treat children with migraines:
- The best treatment for migraine in children is sleep which restores normal brain function while relieving pain and other symptoms. It is strange how children will often know instinctively that they need a quiet dark place to lie down and rest.
- From the age of 4 years, you can safely massage the safe and gently natural product, specially formulated for headaches and made from pure essential oils, onto your child's forehead, temples and neck every 15 minutes to gain almost immediate relief from the symptoms.
Of course, if you are at all concerned about migraines and your child, please take him or her to see your doctor to ensure that no other medical condition is involved. Together you can discuss how to manage the condition and any pain.
Parents are always anxious to know if their child will grow out of having migraines. They may do. One study found that headaches had improved for four out of ten childhood sufferers by the time they were 22 years of age while up 25% of childhood sufferers had outgrown the condition completely.