Kids Can Get Migraines Too

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TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Migraines aren't just a problem for adults -- about 6 percent of children and more than one-quarter of teens aged 15 to 17 have migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation (AMF).

"There are many things that can be done if your child suffers from migraine, or if you suspect that he or she does," foundation chair Dr. David Dodick, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., said in an AMF news release.

If you suspect your child has migraines, take him or her to a doctor to be assessed and receive treatment if necessary. Options include treatment to stop the pain and prevent a migraine from getting worse, along with measures to prevent or reduce the frequency, severity and duration of migraines.

If your child is prescribed a migraine medication, it's important for you to make sure he or she takes the medicine as directed. Inform your doctor if there are changes in your child's migraines, such as becoming more frequent or severe. A new treatment approach may be required, according to the headache experts.

A number of factors may contribute to your child's migraines, such as too little or too much sleep or stress. Parents need to help their children follow healthy lifestyles and cope with stress. Recent research in stress management suggests that a type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy can benefit children with chronic headache, according to the AMF.

Other potentially helpful stress-control techniques include relaxation therapy and biofeedback.

Keeping a migraine diary can help youngsters understand why they get migraines and how to prevent them. The diary tracks migraines, the severity, how long they last, what patients were doing before and during the migraine, and what foods they ate.

Mobile phone apps may be an ideal way for children and teens to tracks their migraines and to take their medications as prescribed, the experts suggested.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about migraines.