How to Manage Your Child's Migraine

Common triggers and how to deal.

Pediatric migraine—a very specific type of headache associated with sensitivity to light, sound or smell, nausea or vomiting—is the most common headache disorder in children.

Many children have triggers for their migraines, such as foods like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, pepperoni and Chinese food, as well as dehydration. It is important that children with headaches stay away from caffeinated beverages and drinks with artificial sweeteners.

“Stress or worry is the most common reason children have headaches, so don’t forget to consider academic struggles, bullying or family distress as possible triggers,” says Dr. Nicole Brockway, a pediatric neurologist with Carolinas HealthCare System.

Talk with your doctor if your child has headaches that wake them from sleep or only happen first thing in the morning; or if symptoms include weakness only on one side of the body, slurred speech, or that only hurt in the back of the head.

Treatment consists of implementing lifestyle changes, as well as medicine as needed.

Many patients report ibuprofen works better than acetaminophen for headaches.