Headaches in children are a common occurrence and not every type of headache should be rushed to the doctor. The first step towards countering a headache attack in your child is by letting your child lie down in a quiet room for a few minutes while you place a cold towel on their forehead. Encourage your child to take a few easy but deep breaths. Once this is done, feed and dehydrate them properly before sending them to bed early. Your child should keep off caffeine and fizzy drinks.
Alternatively, you could try the following tested home remedies:
- Go to the nearest chemist and buy pain relievers
- Consult your child’s pediatrician on the phone
- Massage your child’s forehead and neck
Home Remedies for Headaches in Children
The most common relievers for headaches in children include aspirin, acetaminophen, paracetamol and ibuprofen. Before administering the pain relievers to your child, it is important to carefully read the labels and administer the doses only as directed. Ensure that your child does not develop an overdependence on pain relievers as this can trigger more headaches in the near future.
Aspirin should be administered sparingly to children and teenagers. Do not administer aspirin to children under the age of two or children who are recuperating from other conditions such as chicken pox or malaria. This could trigger more life threatening conditions such as the dangerous Reye’s syndrome. In such cases, it is always important to seek the doctor’s counsel.
In the case of toddlers, it is always easier to administer syrups than tablets. In such cases, you can reach out for Migraleve. This is suitable even for older children. If the pain relievers are ineffective, do not hesitate to call your doctor. Headaches in children can interfere with your child’s social and school life. Toddlers should not be accustomed to home remedies as there could be an underlying problem waiting to happen. It is therefore advisable to seek medical help before resolving to home remedies.
Lifestyle changes that help reduce headaches in children
A number of factors cause headaches in children. These factors could be internal or external. It is however undeniable that certain lifestyles can trigger a headache in your child. For instance, how well ventilated is your child’s room? Experts say that poor ventilation is one of the root causes of headaches. Ensure that there is fresh circulation in your child’s surroundings.
Physically inactive children are also at a higher risk of suffering from headaches. Encourage your children to get sporty as this ensures proper blood circulation as well as relieve them of any tension. In addition, physical activities ensure that your child gets proper air circulation. TV watching and computer games should be thoroughly controlled. Children can be demanding and throw tantrums when you try to discourage them from their favorite redundant activities. In such instances, you could form a pact with your children that for every hour they engage in physical sports, they earn 30 minutes of computer games or TV.
Poor diet can trigger headaches in children. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your children’s diet contain more veggies, fruits and fiber. Encourage your children to take more drinks especially fresh fruit juices and discourage them from caffeine and fizzy drinks. In addition, it is important to encourage your children to have as much water intake as possible.
Encourage your children to go to bed early, as plenty of sleep has been known to reduce headaches in children. In addition, sufficient sleep has also been known to improve eyesight in children. Did you know that headaches could be generational? Experts say that children whose families have a background of headaches are more likely to inherit headaches or migraines. In addition, girls who reach puberty at an early age are more likely to suffer from headaches as compared to girls who delay to reach the puberty stage.
Primary and secondary headaches in children
Primary headaches in children are not necessarily caused by a previous medical condition. They are normally characterized by acute headaches that are recurrent. In this case, the pain is usually in the form of a splitting headache and is rife on either side of the head. Other symptoms include paleness and blurred vision. Chronic non-progressive headaches also fall under the primary headaches category. These headaches are a nuisance as they keep recurring after a short while. Thankfully, this type of headache is not characterized by intense symptoms. These headaches are common among older children and are said to account for 18% of headaches in children over 12 years.
Secondary headaches are precipitated by a previous medical condition and they come in the form of progressive headaches that can get chronic. Unlike acute headaches that disappear after a short while, these headaches seem to go for hours on end and sometimes drag on for a week or two. According to the National Headache Foundation, these headaches are rare and account for less than 5% headaches in children.
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