“There’s a lot of pressure on kids to be successful in life.” – Kenan Thompson
Last week I was listening to a group of teenagers at school debate on the pressures they experience in the world we live in today. Many are trying to fit in with their peers, live up to family expectations, get good grades at school and/or have the latest electronic device. The pressures placed on children and young people are now at their highest level, often resulting in stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression. This is why yoga and mindfulness have recently exploded onto the scenes to support kids’ mental health and emotional well-being.
Sifting through the research, I was surprised see that around 10% of school-age children suffer from migraines due to stress, anxiety, puberty, tiredness, over-exertion and dehydration. A major trigger proved to be exam stress and peer pressure.
Migraines often affect a child’s with piercing pain in their head, but could start in their stomach, abdominal pains, vomiting and nausea. This can result in a child having reduced energy, dizzy spells, sensitive reaction to light and noise, speech disturbances and blurred vision. Which in turn causes emotional, mental and physical pains.
Every child is unique and is constantly changing, so find a treatment that works best for you and your child, and be prepared to tweak the process along the way. Here are just a few ideas 🌟 to help the little migraine sufferers in your life:
🌟 Keep a Diary
Keep a record of your child’s migraines. This helps you identify any patterns in their behaviour, how best to help them and gives detailed information to your doctor. Click here to see diary templates on the Migraine Trust’s website. Particularly note these questions: When do the migraines happen? What are the triggers? Where do they start? What does your child communicate about the symptoms? How long are the migraines? How was the condition resolved? Give a copy of this to your child’s school too.
🌟 Consult your GP
Go to your doctor and explain your child’s symptoms. A formal diagnosis for a migraine sufferer is not always a clear cut case, but a good doctor will exam your child, ask questions and give professional advice. In some cases you may be given medication based on your child’s symptoms. In all cases, ensure you regularly talk to your local GP or health service about the right treatment if you have any concerns.
“What triggered a migraine for me may have no effect on someone else. You really have to find out what affects you individually.” – Morgan Fairchild
🌟 Reduce Stress
As mentioned above, stress is a major factor with migraine sufferers, both young and old. Talk to your child about how they are feeling and reassure them that everything is okay; set balanced work/play schedules with them; introduce mindfulness, journaling, essential oils; and find any other calming activities to soothe, refocus and relieve tension in your child. Regular physical activities like shoulder massages, hugs, running and yoga can also help reduce stress. Also talk to the school about your child’s experiences and ask if they can provide additional support.
🌟 Get Plenty of Sleep
Tiredness can be a major factor with a child’s migraine. Research suggests that around 8 hours of sleep (more for children) allows us to unwind, switch off and reset for the next day. Organising a bedtime routine and even cat naps during the day helps children feel rested, feel less overwhelmed and reduces the chance of migraine.
🌟 Eat and Drink Well
Drinking lots of water and eating fresh foods at regular intervals of the day, can be a huge help to children with migraines. Keeping hydrated and maintaining a good level of nutrition can make all the difference.
🌟 Reduce Digital Device Usage
In today’s fast moving technological driven world, children are regularly looking at digital devices to interact with others, complete school work, play games, watch videos, surf the net and much more! Be mindful that prolonged time using a digital device can trigger migraines, so monitor usage and advise your child to take plenty of breaks and drink lots of water along the way.
“You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.” – Unknown
I hope this post provides some inspiration on ways to support your child if they suffer from migraines.
Miss H 🌟