Migraines aren’t just a headache for adults. It’s estimated that nearly 10 percent of American kids aged 5 to 13 suffer from childhood migraines. And, like adults, they can suffer blurred vision and nausea along with the painful throbbing. Advertising Policy Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support … Read More
Migraines aren’t just a headache for adults. It’s estimated that nearly 10 percent of American kids aged 5 to 13 suffer from childhood migraines. And, like adults, they can suffer blurred vision and nausea along with the painful throbbing.
Wants to go straight to bed — with all the lights out
Doesn’t want to watch TV or play video games
Doesn’t want to eat
Is pale and has rings under his eyes
Common migraine symptoms
Similar to adults, common migraine symptoms for children and adolescents include:
Sensitivity to light and noise
Nausea and vomiting
Blurred vision and dizziness
Very warm or very cold sensation
Avoiding triggers can reduce migraine risk
Stress, lack of sleep, bright lights and noise may trigger migraines in kids. Food and drink may also contain chemicals and substances that can cause dilation of blood vessels that sends a pain message to the brain.
Parents should note what their kids ate if they experience a migraine afterward. Possible culprits include chocolate, caffeine, lunchmeats and aged cheese (like cheddar). Foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also trigger migraines.
Lifestyle changes can help, too
Medication and sleep will often relieve the pain but it may also take some lifestyle changes to prevent more childhood migraine trouble. Trying to beat migraines with over-the-counter pain killers exclusively isn’t the answer.
“When I see a child with significant migraine they’re missing a lot of school,” says Dr. Rothner. “They’re overusing over-the-counter medicine.” Dr. Rothner suggests parents can reduce the risks of migraine attacks in their kids by making sure they:
Get eight hours of sleep
Drink four to six glasses of water a day
Start an exercise program
Talk to your pediatrician about all your options for treating your child’s migraines. A variety of therapies and medications that treat both the headache pain and nausea are available, as well as preventive medications.