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If Your Children Get Frequent Headaches or Migraines ...from: Maxx Family Life
Children who often headaches or migraine attacks have a chronic illness. These children and their parents must deal with this problem to adjust with school and their own rules. Extra preparations should be taken to deal with these illnesses. Pediatric specialist in migraine and headaches need to be consulted for treatment and other precautionary and preventive measures. Triggers vary from child to child, and each one should be recognized accurately.
To begin with, it's strict attendance rules of most schools that children with chronic illness find difficult. In addition, most schools have a zero tolerance policy regarding medications, including over the counter medicines. Reports of students getting expelled for carrying Advil to school are all to common.
Before making an appointment with your doctor, parents shoule read the school's policy where your child is attending. Ask questions before hand rather than feeling sorry later. Some of the schools asks for a letter or medical records as a proof in case the student couldn't attend due to a health problem. Some schools consider sick leave as a regular leave and in this case, the attendance gets affected greatly.
School nurses can be given the prescribed medicine so they can provide for the child as required. Thus medicine storage location and availability should be checked. Apart from not attending regularly, a child may sometimes be unable to take part in co-curricular activities, especially physical education and outdoor recess. Other possible options should be discussed with the child's teachers. Usually a recommendation letter from the physician will do the job.
In these cases, medical identification should be carried by the child at all times. If the child is attending an after school babysitter or program, extra measures should be taken. The babysitter or program in charge should be told about the problem in advance. Their cooperation can be asked for timely administration of the medicine and for taking special care of the child.
If the child is olde enough to understand the situation, he/she should be educated about taking medications and should also be taught that it's harmful to take medicines from any un-trustworthy source, even if other students do so. Have them ask questions and clarify any of their fears or concerns.
Many children dont' have the ability to convey their problem properly, a situation which is further aggravated due to different kinds of headaches often related to chronic illness, tension, sinus or fever. Only a diagnosis can determine the correct problem. If the rate of headache becomes more frequent, i.e. more than twice a month, a doctor's appointment made immediately.
Younger kids find it more difficult to explain their problem. If they become cranky, restless, irritated, tired, or they're having sleeping disorders and not eating properly, a problem certainly exists. Most of the children who complain of headaches during exams because of increased stress. Seventy five percent of the children experience headaches due to tension. Thus, stress management education, along with counseling, should be provided to the child.
Headaches can be an indication of other problems, of course. Thorough diagnosis is highly recommended. A child's previous medical history will provide an important clue. Prior to the doctor's appointment, notes can be made after referring to the medical history. Maintaining a log about the child's headache frequencies, pain location, time of occurrence, symptoms, etc. also helps. If not due to illness, headaches can also be a result of head injury. Sometimes, headaches are hereditary, such as in the case of migraines.
Headaches can also be caused by infections, vision problems, odd levels of blood pressure, neurological problems, muscle weakness, improper ear balance or serious problems, such as tumor, blood clots, etc. If a doctor can't diagnose the problem, he/she can refer the child to a headache specialist or neurologist.
Test such as CT scan or MRI are done if there is a serious problem. After the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes medication or will ask to take over the counter medicines. According to a study, children who face headaches and migraine often take an overdose of over the counter medicines for immediate pain relief. In some cases, parents are clueless about the situation. This practice is risky and mostly children older than six years are involved.
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