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Migraines in Children

Updated: Feb 7

Migraines in Children

Does your child suffer from migraines or migraine attacks? Most people are aware that migraines can severely impact the lives of adults. But not everyone realizes that children can also suffer from this debilitating condition. Because migraines in children have a tendency to go undiagnosed, below we will cover some pediatric migraine facts and symptoms to be aware of. We’ll also go over some natural prevention and treatment options.

Migraines in Children: Facts to Know

Unfortunately, children, especially very young ones, aren’t able to communicate as clearly as an adult would, making their migraine condition more difficult to identify. When trying to determine if your child is having migraines the first thing to consider is, does either parent experience them? The chances of a child having migraines can increase if one or both parents suffer from the condition. Here are some other facts:

  • Migraines have been reported in children as young as 18 months old

  • Approximately 10% of kids between the ages of 5 and 15 have had a migraine episode.

  • The National Headache Foundation estimates that over 60% of all children suffer from occasional headaches.

  • In about 50% of all migraine sufferers, the first attack occurs before age 12

  • As adults, women suffer more than men, but before puberty, boys suffer more often than girls.

Recognizing Symptoms of Pediatric Migraines

People often make the mistake of confusing migraines with regular headaches, but they are not the same. And, one thing to note is that while most migraine cases come with headaches, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only symptom you should look out for. Besides a throbbing sensation on the head, here are some other migraine symptoms to look out for:

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Vertigo or lightheadedness

  • Light, sound, or smell sensitivity

  • Mood changes or irritability

  • Sudden loss of appetite

  • Pale skin color

  • Abdominal discomfort or pain

  • Sleeping issues or difficulties

  • Cognitive problems such as trouble concentrating or thinking

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Neck pain

The Effects of Migraines on Children

Pediatric migraines can affect children of any age in many various ways. Besides the physical symptoms, migraine episodes can induce feelings of depression or anxiousness. The situation can become even more challenging if your child can’t accurately express what they are feeling, such as in the case of toddlers and younger children. This can cause them to become withdrawn when they have an attack and could lead them to feel anxious as they wait for another episode to occur. These feelings can significantly affect your child’s ability to engage with people and enjoy usual activities at home and school and may result in additional “sick” days. Furthermore, some studies show that children who experience frequent headaches may be more likely to additionally develop health problems in adulthood, including psychiatric disorders.

What to Do if You Suspect Your Child is Experiencing Migraine

While the onset of a migraine can seem inescapable, there actually are a few things that both parent and child can do together to help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine episodes.

  • Ensure that your child receives a balanced diet free of trigger foods such as artificial sweeteners, fermented foods, cured meats, yeast extracts, and certain cheeses

  • Make sure your child avoids dehydration by encouraging them to drink plenty of water each day

  • Pay close attention to sleeping habits. Migraine attacks can get worse if your child doesn’t get enough rest at night.

  • Keep stress to a minimum. Even kids can experience stress, be conscious of their stress levels to help minimize the number of migraines your child experiences.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help

When it comes to treating kids, many parents are understandably hesitant to give their children medications that may cause unknown side effects and other issues. If you’re seeking a more natural approach to addressing your child’s migraine condition, Dr’s Tim and Danielle at Atlas Specific are here to help. Kids will be kids, and that means they have their share of skateboard crashes, slips, falls, and other accidents, and even minor slips and falls can cause vertebral misalignment. When this misalignment occurs, it can put abnormal pressure on the delicate nerves and tissues in this area, which can lead to the development of migraines.

At Atlas Specific, our technique is safe, specific, and gentle, providing your child with less suffering, fewer sick days, and the freedom to be a kid again. If you suspect that your child is suffering from migraine episodes, call us at 970.259.6803, stop by and see us at our 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, Durango, CO office, or click below to schedule a free initial consultation.


Notice of Disclaimer:

We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.

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