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10 signs your child might have migraines

10 signs your child might have migraines

This infographic highlights some of the most important signs that a child might be suffering from migraines, including family history, symptoms, & latest study findings.

Almost 9 percent of American children 5 to 13 years old suffer from migraines. However, because migraines can be difficult to diagnose, it’s estimated that only 20 percent of children with migraine are diagnosed by a doctor.

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  • MahtaMouse
    6 years ago

    I suffer from migraines. When my kids were little they were untreated, with a chronic daily headache ranging from nagging to severe, becoming a full blown debilitating migraine 2-3 times a week. One day when my daughter was 1-1/2, she began to have a monthly attack of the “flu”. She’d wake up vomiting until she would fall back asleep and then wake up a few hours later around noon and be fine. One day I was horrified when she became vocal enough to say “my head feels icky”. That’s when it hit me that this wasn’t a little monthly stomach flu, but that she was having a monthly migraine. One MRI later and it was confirmed by her pediatrician that there wasn’t a tumor or anything “wrong”, but, she was indeed having migraines. She continued to have them until she entered kindergarten when they suddenly stopped. Now my big fear is that they might come back should she A. have kids, or B. enter menopause.

  • amyd
    7 years ago

    I have migraines and have since I was a young child. I THOUGHT I knew all the beginning signs until my son (age 8) started having them. EVERY time, He would complain in the evening of a stomach ache and avoid eating dinner. Always in the evening btw , which I’ve learned is typical. It would all end up in middle of the night screaming pain and vomiting. I eventually figured it out (after reading a great book regarding migraines) that this is common. SO , when those stomach aches would show up, i gave him advil right away and the midnight horrors stopped! As I learned myself, TAKE SOMETHING RIGHT AWAY if you know your triggers to AVOID dealing with the migraine. That has been the absolute best advice I could ever give. If you or your child, for example, are triggered by weather, start taking medication before that low pressure is scheduled to hit your area.

  • Debi
    7 years ago

    I have suffered from a continual headache that leads into severe migraines for roughly 15 years now. I have aura symptoms and dizziness and sometimes go blind (5 times/15 yrs) for moments. It really hit home a few months ago when I was driving (never happend before) and my pregnant daughter and three girls were in the car with me. I was fully congnitive but blind, my daughter grabbed the steering wheel and I applied the brakes luckily we were on a side road and no other vehicles were around. My Doctors are still investigating this…
    However, one of my grandchildren spent the night this past weekend. Girl 8 years old, and informed me she has spells of dizziness and one day before school was out she had an episode of dizziness and her eyes went blind. This really bothers me and after reading about children who have migraines I have encouraged my daughter to follow up on this. My migraines seemingly began after a head trauma in a car accident. But, I have read there is a genetic connection. I see you have read a book that was informative and helped you to understand the disease, but you did not list it in your blog. If you would respond with some place to pursue information (website) or the name of the book I would be grateful. Learning and logging the triggers is a great recommendation. Thank you! Debi

  • katebenson
    7 years ago

    I have two daughters, and both appear to have them. We are going to the doctor tomorrow to see what he recommends for my 13 year-old. I am more understanding, I hope, and my daughter has watched me, and I hope shown her that they can be managed, to some extent. My biggest worry is when I think of how she might have to change her diet, and how resistant she might be… I know how hard it is to find things I like that don’t set me off…

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    How did you make out at the doctor?
    Does she have a smart phone? To keep a migraine diary there are many apps that she may think are “cool” to help track her triggers and attacks. has one you both can check out here called the Migraine Meter. You can find it on the home page three quarters of the way down on the right side. The link won’t load for me right now. I’m sure it’s my lappy!

  • tucker
    7 years ago

    I found out in hindsight that my son was having abdominal migraines when he was in early elementary school after he started having “true” migraines in later elementary school. It was the most heartbreaking thing in the world to watch him throw up and tell me his head hurt so bad. But it took that misdiagnosis of a possible stomach ulcer, type A personality, “nervous stomach”, etc in those early years. Poor kid.

    We were so fortunate that our very own family doctor knew how to treat him with preventative medications. He had spent years working with me until mine just became uncontrollable and I found a headache specialist after 1 failed neuro attempt. I do wonder how many kids get told to buck up, esp if they are shy or seem to be trying to get out of school work. Terrible thing for little kids to endure.

  • Pamela Dennis-Bussa
    8 years ago

    Suzanne, I understand; My son has spent the last year dealing with symptoms and he is thirteen; it is beyond heartbreaking and I would take all of his pain to stop this…I try to give him mucinex and tylenol, it seems to help both of us some, good luck.

  • Suzanne Johnson
    8 years ago

    I read this aprehensively because I was afraid of what it might say. My grandfather and all females on my mother side have migraines. My worst nightmare is that my son, now age 10 will have them. Ever since my son could talk and would say his head hurt, I would give him the fifth degree: Where, how does it feel, do lights bother you or make it worse & how does your belly feel. Immediately follow-up by taking his temp, ibuprofen & a cool cloth if he wanted. Mostly he just needs to rest, out of the bright lights and is good to go within 20 – 30 minutes. Granted I go overboard but having daily chronic migraines myself for years, the last thing I want is for my son to have them. I would take more & worse just to make sure he never had one in all his life. I just wanted to share because I know I am not the only parent out there who feels like this or similar. It helps to know you are not alone in your feelings & worry. It is important that we continue to support one another. Knowledge for a migraine free future.

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