Headaches in kids

74% of girls and 52% of boys have headaches at age 17, according to a Finnish study of 6,262 twins.  At age 11, 60% of girls and 59% of boys had headaches at least once a month.   The prevalence of weekly headaches increase d in girls from 16% to 25% between ages 11 and 14.  Headaches in kids is a major problem, but unfortunately it does not receive proper attention.  Sometimes parents do not believe that their child has a headache or if they do, they are reluctant to take the child to a doctor because they don’t want to resort to prescription medications.  Fortunately, many non-drug approaches are very effective in kids.  Regular sleep schedule (very hard to enforce in teenagers), regular meals, frequent aerobic exercise, biofeedback or meditation, and supplements can be very effective.  Several studies have shown that kids with headaches are often deficient in magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10).  If a child still has headaches, a medications may also be appropriate.

  1. Dr. Mauskop says: 02/15/20111:55 pm

    I do prescribe Imitrex and other triptans to children older than 10, but if headaches are that frequent, she may benefit from biofeedback, magnesium and CoQ10 supplementation, Botox injections, or as a last resort, preventive medications – ask her neurologist about these options.

  2. Alicia says: 02/15/201112:34 pm

    My daughter began suffering from abdominal migraines at the age of 6. Now at age 11 she is suffering from regular migraines about two times a week. She was at first responding to 200mg of Advil with a 10mg dose of Pepsid. Now the stomach ache part of the migraine is completely gone so we cut out the Pepsid but she is not responding to the Advil anymore. She is under the care of a neurologist at NYU. Her brain/head MRI is completely clear (no sinus problems or anything else). What are your thoughts on her beginning to take Imitrex or Maxalt? I know that they have not been tested for children so I am concerned about going down that path.
    I am a migraine sufferer as are my mother, aunt and cousin.

  3. Dr. Mauskop says: 03/12/20109:15 am

    Your son probably needs needs to be seen by another neurologist who possibly will order more tests, such as a spinal tap, magnesium level, and if available, an MRI scan.

  4. Tatyana says: 03/12/20108:43 am

    Please help, I do not know whom to ask.

    Child (boy) 4.5 years old had a headache for more than 4 month. He has it approx. 4 times a day. Pain as he told us, he felt in front part of head. We had consultations with neurologist and ENT. Antiviral treatment with the use of antibiotics was made for 2 times. Also we made complete inspection of organism and brain. Computerized Axial Tomography, encephalogram were made, ultrasonic scanning of all organs of child, a lot of blood tests for bacterial and parasites. But doctors could not tell us the reason of such headaches. While we made Antiviral treatment headaches became more rear and not so strong, but when we finished such treatment it became almost like at the beginning.

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