Migraine Headaches In Children: Types, Symptoms & Treatments

migraine headaches in children
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Migraine headaches are quite common. If fact, more than 3 million cases are reported each year in the United States. Migraines include a host of neurological symptoms. They tend to run in families and are often debilitating. Consequently, the symptoms often incapacitate sufferers, causing loss of work and time spent missing out on life.

For example, when I get a migraine I’m so out of it from the intense pain, nausea and blindness caused by the aura that literally all I can do is treat it and lie down until it subsides, which is usually hours later. And after that, I typically don’t feel like myself again until two or three days later. Can you relate?

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 10% of school-age children suffer from migraine headaches. It’s hard enough for adults who get migraines, but for children, it can be especially difficult and scary.

So what else do we know about these excruciating headaches? Specifically, there are several types of migraines.

7 Types Of Migraines

  • migraine with aura
  • migraine without headache (or typical aura without headache)
  • chronic migraine
  • migraine without aura
  • hemiplegic migraine (a type of migraine with aura)
  • migraine with brainstem aura (formerly basilar migraine)
  • retinal migraine (also called ocular or ophthalmic migraine)
migraine headaches in children
Artificial colors and flavors can trigger a migraine.

Next, there are many common migraine triggers.

Migraine Triggers

  • changes in sleep patterns, such as sleeping too much or too little
  • stress and anxiety
  • changes in caffeine consumption, such as drinking too much or too little
  • teeth grinding
  • changes in routines
  • red wine
  • cheese
  • changes in exercise routines, such as a lack of exercise or working out too intensely when you’re not used to it
  • hunger
  • oral contraceptives
  • artificial colors and flavorings in foods
  • environmental changes such as weather, loud noises, strong smells, flickering lights
  • computer screens
  • additives in food, such as aspartame and nitrates found in processed meats
  • dehydration from not drinking enough water

Related: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water

Migraine Headaches In Children

Now that we know the different types of migraines as well as migraine triggers, let’s take a look at the SlideShare presentation below to learn more about migraine headaches in children.

Presentation provided by Diamond Headache Clinic

The Takeaway

In short, as you can see from the slide presentation above there are many special considerations concerning children and migraines. I hope this post helped you better understand the types, symptoms and triggers of migraine headaches.

For more information about migraines you may want to read:

Do you or your child get migraines? What treatments (natural or medical) help?

Please share your comments in the comment section below. I love to hear from you and will respond to you as soon as possible!

The information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.

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  1. I hate this for you, Taylor. But it’s great that you’ve made the connection with dehydration being a trigger. Knowing our triggers can definitely help in migraine management.

  2. Oh my goodness, I can so relate! I suffer from chronic migraines and it’s the worst! My doctors have put me on seizure medication and antidepressants to try to help treat it. Luckily, it’s manageable now (compared to last year when I had to quite my law office job due to it) but it’s something I hope my children never have to experience!

    1. So sorry you’re dealing with chronic migraines and had to quit your job because of it, Amanda! I don’t think I realized how horrible they can be until I started getting them myself. I’m thankful that they’re more manageable for you now. I hope you continue to improve. X

  3. It makes me so sad to hear that kids can suffer from migraines. I had no idea. It’s good to see there are some natural steps to take that can help avoid the headaches.

  4. I can’t imagine what it would be like for a kid to have a migraine. They are so terrible! I don’t think parents realize kids can have them.

  5. I get migraine headaches too and the symptoms you’ve mentioned applies to adults as well. But as learning early about the symptoms and to keep a healthy balance is really important. Thanks for sharing

  6. Great post. I know first hand how horrible migraines are for adults, I can only imagine how devastating it must be on a child.

    1. Thanks a bunch, Shannon! So sorry you’re dealing with migraines too. Yes, it can be so difficult for children, especially if they aren’t quite able to explain how they feel or what’s happening to them. I’m thankful for advances in this area that will hopefully help migraine patients.

  7. Sugar plays SUCHa big role. When I cut out processed sugar from my life a few years ago, it totally made a difference in my every day life and my mood and also my headaches were gone.

    1. Wow, it’s great that your learned this about yourself, Andrea! Figuring out our migraine triggers is key to helping prevent them. Sugar never makes me feel good either. 😉

  8. That is a relief to know that the treatment for an abnormal migraine in kids doesn’t require drastic measures. Rest, fluids, and OTC painkillers and that is it! My daughter suffers from migraines and I am so glad to know I haven’t been missing anything.

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