Most kids are eager to enjoy a break from school. Yet, for kids who suffer from migraines, the activities celebrated during the summer can be a trigger for painful episodes.
Common causes for migraines and headache include dehydration, too much sun and heat exposure, change in sleep habits (like staying up too late), overstimulation (so much play time!), or too much sugar. Yes, pretty much everything associated with summer.
Says Dr. Lindsay Elton, one of Child Neurology Consultants’ specialists in treating headaches and migraines, “Summer is such an exciting time for kids, but unfortunately all that goes with it—like long hours in the sun and heat, as well as inconsistent bedtime and sleep—can take a toll on young ones who are already susceptible to regular headaches.”
Prevention is key. If your child suffers from migraines, keep a water bottle around at all times, swap watermelon and oranges for popsicles and try to have them stick to their school year bedtime (more or less).
If a migraine appears, Dr. Elton recommends treating their symptoms by:
- Resting in a cool, dark room
- Taking a nap
- Applying cold washcloths or ice packs to the forehead
- Medicating with over-the-counter pain products such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
Contact your pediatrician or make an appointment with one of our pediatric neurologists if the migraine is severe, lasts several days or if your child is suffering from frequent episodes (approximately one per week).