Many preschool children already suffer from tension headaches, the frequency even increases significantly during school time.
When children have headaches, it is time to act. A child-friendly lifestyle with lots of exercise but little stress can help to get a grip on suffering.
Ursaschen: How does child headache occur?
By far the two most common types of headaches in children are tension headaches and migraines. Why the pain occurs has not yet been fully clarified in both diseases. Experts suspect both internal and external factors for tension headaches. The external factors include, above all, muscular tension, triggered for example by stress, fears and emotional problems.
Today’s way of life contributes a lot: children move less than previous generations. They watch more TV, play a lot on the computer and are often under school pressure. One of the internal factors is probably a disorder in the brain’s pain-processing system. Pain sensitivity is increased in the affected children.
What are the symptoms of child headache??
Children feel an oppressive or pulling pain on the forehead. Some children also describe it as a ring that squeezes the head. The symptoms last between 30 minutes and several days. Infants often point to the stomach in pain, even though the head hurts. You are still unable to localize the pain. Most children who have headaches don’t want to play anymore. They are very hungry and thirsty, tired and pale.
How does migraine affect children??
When children have migraines, the head can hurt on both sides. Sometimes the temple area also hurts. Children usually describe him as oppressive or throbbing. There may also be neurological complaints. These include flashes of light in front of the eyes, disorders of feeling, movement, speech and swallowing. Sometimes hallucinatory vision disorders occur, which experts refer to as Alice in Wonderland syndrome. Affected people avoid light and loud noises.
How are children’s headaches diagnosed??
If your child’s headache occurs more frequently, lasts longer than two hours, or is so severe that your child has had to end a school day early, you should definitely consult a pediatrician.
To make the correct diagnosis, the doctor depends on your help and that of the child: A description that is as specific as possible helps to classify the condition correctly. In addition, the doctor performs a physical and neurological investigation by. Diagnostic equipment is only necessary in exceptional cases. Because most of the time, children are a primary headache illness such as tension headache or migraines. Only with certain symptoms the doctor has to clarify possible other causes by further examinations. This usually includes magnetic resonance imaging.
Life-threatening causes such as meningitis, tumors or bleeding in the brain are very rare in children.
What is the therapy for child headache??
Very important in advance: You should never give your child repeated pain relievers without medical supervision. Acetylsalicylic acid, which is popular among adults, often has side effects in children. Pediatricians recommend the active substances ibuprofen or paracetamol for tension headaches. Often enough, distraction from the headache through a pleasant activity is enough.
If the child suffers from migraines, ibuprofen is usually used. From the age of 12 allowed to Children also take triptans as a nasal spray. In the event of severe migraine attacks, doctors prescribe active ingredients such as propranolol or flunarizine. Both can prevent headache attacks.
Prevention of headaches in children
Numerous prophylactic measures can help prevent headaches in children from occurring. Regular exercise in the fresh air as well as regular sleeping and eating times are especially helpful.
It is also important to avoid known triggers for headaches. For migraines, this can be some food. Psychological stress must also be avoided or reduced. This includes school problems, tensions in the family as well as performance and schedule pressure.
The demonstrably very good preventive measures include easy-to-learn relaxation procedures such as Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation or so-called fantasy trips. In trade and on-line there are corresponding CDs and streaming offers. The parents should always do the exercises with the child.
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