Kids Get Headaches Too
Kids, not just adults, get headaches. Luckily in children, few headaches are caused by serious conditions, such as a tumors, infections, or a head injury. Regardless, common headaches can be painful and distracting for children.
Childhood Headache Tips for Parents
Pay Attention to a Headache
Although some kids will pretend to have headaches or tummy aches to avoid things they don’t want to do, most childhood headaches are real. Some children have migraines
and others have tension-type headaches
. Migraines can be triggered by stress, food, or environmental factors, such as noise or bright lights. Tension-type headaches can be a response to stress or challenges at school, home, work, or among friends.
Find Headache Relief
Take your child to the doctor for help with headaches. Your child may need medication or changes in their daily routine, such as diet, exercise, and rest. If over time, your doctor is not able to treat or manage the headaches, ask for a referral to a pediatric neurologist or headache specialist.Your child may also be referred to a therapist. Therapy may reduce the length and frequency of migraine headaches. It may be used with or without medication and may include cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, or relaxation methods. Gum chewing and teeth grinding have also been shown to cause headaches in children. If your child chews gum or grind their teeth excessively, you may want to encourage ending the habit.
Take It Easy
Kids who get headaches can participate in most activities, but sometimes it will be best to just take it easy. Do not commit a child with headaches to too many activities. Leave some time for rest and relaxation. Overall, kids who get headaches will benefit from balanced, nutritious meals (especially breakfast), regular sleep patterns (including a full night’s sleep), and exercise. Although exercise may help relieve tension, it may not be a good idea for your child to exert himself during a headache.
Tell Teachers and School Staff
Your child spends a lot of the day at school, so you need to make teachers and school staff aware of your child’s headaches. Have your doctor write a note explaining any medications and special instructions, such as rest or recovery periods. Make sure that your child is allowed to take medication when needed. Migraines, for example, should be treated as soon as your child senses one coming on. Waiting until class ends is likely to lead to a much more severe migraine and a longer recovery period. Children with headaches may need to miss school, but if your child is missing school often, you should seek further medical attention.