Spotting and Treating Migraines in Kids

July 9, 2013

Tricky as it is to diagnose a headache and migraine conditions in adults, identifying these ailments in children can be even more challenging and frightening for parents.  And if figuring out what the symptoms actually mean, finding an effective headache or migraine treatment can be downright perplexing. 

Now, let’s complicate this process by heaping on a dose of intense summer weather in various parts of the country and you have the makings of a ‘mystery of the migraine’!  In San Antonio, Las Vegas and even Chicago, summer temperatures can trigger headaches among many kids who play sports. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are big causes of migraines.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, headaches might not be the most obvious migraine symptom in kids.  They can experience nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain or visual aura.  As a parent you may be able to anticipate a migraine attack in your child when their moods change.  They may become irritable, lethargic or lose her appetite.  Motion sickness, sleepwalking and talking are possible childhood indicators of a tendency toward developing a migraine condition. 

For kids attending summer recreational and sports camps in hot climates such as Miami, Las Vegas and San Antonio, a migraine condition can make for a miserable summer indeed!  Planning ahead is key for the physical demands that intense workouts, heat and humidity can wreak on their bodies.  Before sending them off to camp provide them with some drug free preventative migraine treatment directions:

  • Take frequent breaks from strenuous activity and bright sunshine
  • Keep a container with cool water or fruit juice flavored sports drink with you at all times
  • Get plenty of rest each night to avoid migraine triggering fatigue
  • Don’t skip and eat well-balanced meals

The Migraine Research Foundation website notes that migraine treatment and prevention drugs have been researched and are prescribed, but have not been approved for use by kids.  Over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, naproxen sodium and ibuprofen can be used in moderation to alleviate non-severe pain.  Antiemetics may also be helpful in managing vomiting and nausea.  Digestive symptoms along with loss of appetite occur in about 90 percent of children migraineurs.  

Summer can trigger the worst headache and migraine symptoms for kids who are sensitive to heat and humidity and who aren’t prepared for the strenuous sports and hectic schedule of camp.  If your little man or lady is heading out to the sports fields in a hot city like San Antonio, migraine worries don’t need to stand in the way of a super summer. 


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