June is headache and migraine awareness month. Both headaches and migraines can be scary for children and their parents. Unfortunately, they’re a common problem in children which is why it’s important to know when to treat them at home and when it’s time to seek care from a pediatric neurologist. Below is a list of common questions we receive about headaches and migraines.
A headache is pain or discomfort in the head or face area. Headaches can be single or recurrent in nature and localized to one or more areas of the head and face.
Migraines are headaches that last at least two hours. Migraines also commonly cause nausea or vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and sound.
Many things can cause headaches or migraines. It is important to check for other symptoms like fever, nasal congestion or vomiting that may be due to an illness such as a virus or infection.
Migraines are caused by a number of factors, such as fatigue, bright lights, weather changes, among other things. Oftentimes multiple family members suffer from migraines. Stresses on the body from change in sleep, eating, hydration, or level of activity can also cause a migraine.
The best way is to start with rest, hydration and a small snack. Children with headaches will often feel better after this and will not require medication.
You should seek treatment if there are other symptoms associated with their headache or if their headaches occur more than one day a week.
A specialist can review daily habits to make sure they are healthy. Often increasing sleep duration or the amount of water intake will reduce headache frequency. A specialist will consider other treatments or medication if headaches continue to occur more than one day a week.
Typically, a good history and physical exam is all that is needed. If a child’s exam is normal and there are not any unusual symptoms, other testing (blood work, X-ray, MRI) is not needed at the first office visit.
If your child suffers from frequent headaches or migraines, please give give MacKoul Pediatrics Cape Coral a call at 239-573-2001.
MacKoul Pediatrics is an amazing local pediatrics office in Cape Coral, FL where caring, compassionate doctors and nurses work with you to keep your children as healthy as possible. MacKoul cares for children from birth to college age, from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and beyond.
July 19, 2016