My niece is 6 years old – a pretty, vibrant, normal little girl. What set her apart from other kids would be the no-warning headaches while on a swing or playing with the neighborhood kids. Her cousin – my own little girl – would sometimes come home from an early play and tell me that her cousin had to go home yet again. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that she would double over in pain and just vomit. So yeah, I feel for the parent who has a child suffering from headaches, or worse a migraine headache. Cause of the pain may be due to a lot of things, and may be the following:
– An extreme sensitivity to light and sound are sometimes the first indicators of a massive headache.
– Food. Yes, unfortunately, certain foods can trigger a whole lot of pain. It is best to avoid too salty (processed meats, cheese, chips, junk food, etc.) and too sweet foods (specifically chocolate is defined as the main culprit in creating the ultimate migraine headache). Also, caffeine is a possible suspect – although I seriously don’t want to believe that the caffeine comes from tea products and not from real coffee. Some nuts may also be triggers. Every child is different, so it is best to have a journal for it, especially if there is a family history of migraines and/or headaches (since this is usually hereditary) to track down those trigger foods.
– Weather changes. Sometimes it’s all hot … then you enter an air-conditioned building. For a time, it may feel nice, but soon after, you will slowly feel the pain creeping in. As adults, we’ve had a lot of extreme weather encounters that ended up with us feeling “under the weather”. So just imagine if a child was faced with that dilemma.
– Changes in sleeping patterns may also be a factor, especially if the child already has a set sleeping schedule since time immemorial.
– Missing or skipping meals may also contribute to a headache. Ever heard of the saying “going faint with hunger”? That’s not usually true – you often get a headache first before you go faint. The simplest solution to this? Be sure that your child is prepared with packed lunches and snacks so that he doesn’t go hungry.
– Stress. Kids get stressed out too, especially when there are big changes within the family – moving to a new house, leaving friends behind, changing schools, his parents’ divorce (oh, heaven forbid!), etc. Whatever the change, the child feels it too. So be sure to talk and prepare him for the coming changes to somewhat lessen the impact.
– Fast approaching puberty is a common cause, especially for girls due to the change in hormones – having their menstrual period and other bodily changes.
Over-all, these possible causes may sometimes be avoided. Both you and your child should understand why the headaches are happening so that you can come prepared (armed with your lists as you march your kid off to the doctor) and so that your child will also know why you and your doctor would need to be thorough before giving out prescribed medication.