Young Woman Sleeping, Rembrandt 1654
I see children with headaches daily. Headaches are very common. Most often they are associated with a minor febrile illness. Other times the kids have had frequent sometimes daily headaches. They may occur in the morning, afternoon or during the night. Usually the headaches are minor. They can be incapacitating and may interfere with activities and school.
Rarely are the headaches due to vision problems and in most cases the parents have had the vision screened. In a lot of the children there is a family history of migraine. Headaches in children are similar to those of their parents. As many as 5% of children may have migraine. I find that with most of the children they are not eating well and are not drinking enough water. Many of the kids are drinking too much soda and may be ingesting too much caffeine. Chocolate can also cause headaches in some children who are sensitive. Many of my kids who go on to suffer from migraine start with headaches at 4 or 5 years old. Nutrition is an important factor to consider and eating 3 regular meals with an after school snack will help. Many kids have eaten too many carbs and have had the resulting insulin peak and sugar drop and headache. That is not diabetes nor hypoglycemia. The best course for the kids is to drink a lot of water avoid caffeine and chocolate eat a balanced breakfast with carbs fat and protein. Get adequate rest and exercise. Limit tv and video games. Avoid tension.
Biofeedback can help as well as chiropractic treatment . If you do pursue alternative treatment it is best for the child to be examined to rule out a physical cause. Lab and or x rays may be ordered in some cases but not always.
The usual causes of headache are migraine and tension headaches.
It is important to try to identify the triggers for your child. and if possible avoid those triggers.
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