Migraine attacks– probably one of the most dreaded headaches that humans can possibly get, is often associated with adults. However, what remains absolutely undiagnosed is that more than 10% school going children; too have this excruciating and throbbing pain at such a young and tender age that is within 10 to 12 years. Research studies have shown that half of the migraine sufferers in the entire world have had their first attack within 12 years of their age. In fact, migraine in children have occurred in as young as an 18 month old child.
I am a mother of two kids, a boy and a girl, who are now in college. My son has migraine and he had his first attack when he was in he 5th grade. Since then, he has had repeated migraine attacks without any pattern of occurrence.
Children and migraine:
Migraine in children is not very unusual. It occurs more in boys, when they are young that is before puberty. At this age, the girls have less migraine attacks. As they approach towards their adolescence or puberty, the chance of getting first migraine attacks significantly reduces for boys and increases for girls.
Coping with migraine for child sufferers:
As a parent, it is equally painful to see your child suffer from migraine. The emotional pain has hardly been less intense than the pain that my son has suffered. It was quite normal for me to see doctors and ask them time and again, whether my son will grow out of this excruciating pain or will he have to bear it lifelong. To be frank, neither did the doctors give a concrete positive answer; nor did they give a completely negative answer.
According to them, migraine in children can last for long, as long as a lifetime or it can disappear with time. Research studies have shown that four out of 10 child migraine sufferers have had an improved condition from this excruciating and throbbing migraine attacks as they reach 22 years of age. Almost a quarter of this number had even been completely spared from this condition.
What to avoid?
Children, who are migraine sufferers, must be kept away from the migraine triggers. Stress, anxiety, food and drink habits and even too much of physical activity can worsen this condition. Hence, it is the responsibility of the parents to understand the nature of the pain and what worsens the situation. This is the only possible way to ensure that the pain does not increase. But, the only way to manage migraine in children is to consult a doctor who will advise correct treatment.