Migraines in children – parents should know that, docsonnet

Not only adults, but also many children suffer from migraines. Around three to four percent of children are said to be affected by the painful headache. But which symptoms are typical of a migraine in children, which ones risk factors do they favor and how is it treated? There is also the question of whether migraine headaches in children can be prevented?

How to become aware of a migraine in children?

Children are often still unable to correctly classify and communicate their symptoms. Therefore, as parents, you should pay particular attention to behavior changes in your children. They prefer to rest rather than let off steam and have a particularly pale or red face. Sleep problems or the inability to concentrate at school may also indicate a migraine in your child.

Another indication of a migraine in children is abdominal pain or a slight irritability. The signs listed alone can have very harmless causes, but these symptoms accumulate if you and your child see a doctor.

What causes migraines in children??

Migraine attacks in children can be attributed to various causes. For one thing, scientists assume that migraines are probably based on genetic factors. Because migraines occur frequently in some families. If you or another family member suffer from migraines, you should pay special attention to any symptoms in your child. Migraines are also described as congenital irritation processing disorders. Certain environmental stimuli cannot be adequately filtered and overwhelm those affected. This is especially true with regard to children.

In addition, there are so-called trigger factors that can trigger a migraine attack. These factors need to be recognized and avoided or reduced. Stress is the most common trigger factor in children. Too much stress at school, then to music school lessons or to spend hours on the next class work. If children feel overwhelmed, they are more prone to migraine attacks.

Other typical triggers are loud noise, bright lights and changing sleeping habits. Caffeinated drinks or certain other foods can also trigger a migraine attack in children. So make sure your children get enough sleep, don’t watch TV for too long, or play video games. In addition, you should not be overwhelmed by excessive pressure to perform.

Identifying the triggering factors is the first step towards reducing the frequency of migraine attacks in your children. Keeping a migraine diary can help. This makes it easier for you to see which external circumstances can have led to a migraine attack.

How is migraine treated in children?

Although medication should only be used very sparingly in children, a diagnosed migraine of your child can hardly do without drug therapy. In the event of a mild migraine attack, it may be sufficient for the child to calm down and lie down in a quiet, darkened room. You can also provide relief for your child with a cold towel on your forehead or a light head massage.

In the event of a severe and acute migraine attack, the medication prescribed or recommended by the doctor should be taken as early as possible. Because the earlier the medication is used, the more effective it is. First of all, medication such as ibuprofen (10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) or paracetamol (15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) can be taken. Do not take allowed to Children under the age of 14 pain relievers with the active ingredient acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or metoclopramide, a medication used for nausea.
In the case of very severe migraine attacks, the use of triptans or serotonin receptor agonists can be considered. However, the effects of these drugs on children have not yet been fully researched, so they should only be taken very restrictively. Consult a doctor and never exceed the dosage prescribed by the pediatrician.

How can migraines be prevented in children??

In addition to reducing the triggering stress factors, certain relaxation exercises can help children to suffer less from migraine attacks. Through these exercises, the children learn to relax consciously, to get to know their own body better and to perceive physical changes faster.

There are also drug therapies that can be used preventively as part of a migraine treatment. The disadvantage of this preventive drug therapy, however, is that these drugs must be taken permanently. This long-term intake can be very stressful for children. That is why the advantages and disadvantages of such treatment should with the treating pediatrician carefully and, above all, possible side effects should be kept in mind.

Children with migraines also suffer from this disease in adulthood?

A study that followed the development of children with migraines into adulthood came to the following conclusion. Around 60 percent of children with migraines also suffer from painful migraine attacks as adults. Conversely, this also means that 40 percent of migraine children in adulthood no longer have migraines. Many of the adults who had migraines from childhood also state that their migraine attacks are less frequent and less intense than adults. The prognosis can also be positively influenced by identifying and reducing the trigger factors that trigger migraines.

Photo credit
Entry picture: © mintchipdesigns / Pixabay
sleeping child: © smengelsrud / Pixabay


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Christina Cherry
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