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Migraine Headaches in Children

​​Your child may have migraines if he or she experiences recurrent headaches with symptom free gaps between them and has some or all of the following symptoms:
  • Throbbing head pain, often on one side of the head

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • A visual or sensory sensation, such as blurring or flashes of light or numbness of the hands and feet

  • Relief of headache following sleep

  • A family medical history of migraine

If your child has symptoms suggestive of migraine, your pediatrician will recommend a treatment plan.

Migraine Management:

Most migraine attacks in children aren't severe and can be managed at home. Talk with your pediatrician about the best methods to avoid triggers and treat migraines. Attacks may be triggered by hormonal changes, certain foods, stress, and other factors.

Keeping a headache diary can help a child identify and avoid migraine triggers. A typical headache diary will include notations of the date, time, duration, location, and severity of the headache, as well as environmental factors such as foods eaten before the onset of headache, stressful situations, and other possible triggers.

At the first sign of an attack, your child should rest in a quiet, darkened room. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are often effective for mild migraine headaches. In many cases children with migraines have fewer, less severe headaches once they've been examined by their pediatrician and reassured that they don't have a serious health problem.

Additional Information on

Last Updated
The Big Book of Symptoms: A-Z Guide to Your Child’s Health (Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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