Childhood headaches are not uncommon. Similar to adults, children also experience strong bouts of headaches like migraines or tension type headaches like migraines or tension type headaches induced by stress or chronic headaches which occur daily. Some cases of migraine occur due to a pre existing conditions like an infection, head injury/ trauma etc.
Are migraines and headaches common in children?
Children experience the same kind of headaches like adults, but display different symptoms. Adults experience migraine for more than four hours, whereas a child’s headaches may last than four hours.
Some symptoms are as follows
A pounding, throbbing or a pulsating sensation in the head
The ache gets worse when the child is exerted
Vomiting and nausea
Pain in the abdomen
Sensitivity to varying degrees of light and sound
In some cases, infants too have migraines and they convey it through crying and some children hold their heads as an indication of the harsh pain.
The factors responsible for childhood headaches are as follows:
Infections and illness
Head injury or trauma
Certain beverages and foods
Children of any age are susceptible to headaches. However, it is commonly witnessed in girls who have matured, in children with family history of migraines or headaches and in older teenagers.
The treatment of childhood headaches is initiated with changes in lifestyle and usage of OTC ( over the counter) medicines. When a healthy child suffers from headaches, it is considered a mere symptom which needs no further investigation. In some cases, scans and further evaluation is done to eliminate other medical conditions which may be the cause of the headache. The tests used are MRI, CT scan and spinal Tap, also known as lumbar puncture.
Normally, a child may get some relief from the headache with some rest at home and a silent environment, accomplished with a diet of balanced nutritious meals, lots of fluids and pain killers. An older child can be taught medication to ease stress. Some therapies used for biofeedback training relation training and CBT, also known as cognitive Behavioural therapy. Alternate treatments involve massages and acupuncture.