Children and Headaches: What Can You Do?

Contrary to popular belief, children can suffer from serious types of headaches including migraines. Also, children of parents who suffer from migraines are more likely to develop them. In a child, however, these headaches can take a different form than they do in adults, such as more vague in a child and more localized in an adult. Also the child may perceive such symptoms as nausea, dizziness and confusion as head pain depending on their age and ability to articulate their symptoms.

Parents must be sensitive to the possibility of headaches in children and can sometimes help prevent the underlying conditions that can cause these headaches. Keep a diary of your child’s headaches and include the day and time of the headaches, foods eaten prior to the headache, as well as any activities the child was engaged in. By monitoring your child’s diet, you will become aware of any possible food allergies or sensitivities he or she may have. Having noted a pattern between a certain food type, eliminate it for approximately 10 days and then reintroduce it to see if the headaches reoccur. Some foods to be aware of are those which are consumed very frequently, as allergies very often develop with repetitive exposure (i.e. corn, wheat, dairy).

Make your child stick to regular sleeping and eating patterns. Children need and want a structured environment to give them a sense of stability and security and it has obvious health benefits.

Finally, encourage your child to exercise and spend time outdoors. In these days of electronic wizardry, children are spending less time playing and using their imagination, and more time in front of the computer screen. If the headaches don’t resolve with your at home detective work, then it may be time to have your child looked at by a health care professional.

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