Migraines & School

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: November 2010. | Last updated: May 2020

Preparing to Handle Migraines at School

It’s difficult enough for a child or teenager to have a Migraine at home. When Migraines occur at school, it’s even more difficult. There are however, ways to prepare that can help…

  • Learn about Migraines. Learning about Migraines in general and the specific type of Migraine your child has is essential. That knowledge removes some of the fear that you and your child may have. It also prepares you and your child to explain Migraines to people in your lives and to be ready to treat Migraine attacks when they occur.
  • Be sure to refill prescriptions before they’re actually needed.
  • Keep non prescription medications and items to help with comfort on hand at all times.
  • Get information to teachers, school nurses, and other school officials at the beginning of each school year and whenever your child’s Migraine treatments change.

Most schools now have a “zero tolerance” policy regarding drugs that pertains not just to illicit drugs, but also to over-the-counter and prescription medications children and teens may well need to take at school for their Migraines.

If your child’s school allows students to keep their medications with them and take them as necessary, it’s best to leave them in the original prescription container with the label intact. Those labels tend to tear and wear when they’re carried around, but they can be protected by putting a piece of clear tape over them.

Your child’s teacher and the school nurse, if there is one, need to know about your child’s health and any specific needs they may have at school — taking medications, napping, etc.

For college students, the situation is different. Some colleges have policies about class attendance. Some professors have their own additional rules about missing classes or examinations. It’s best to investigate school policies during enrollment and check with professors for each class. In addition, college students who live in dormitories and may need help should speak with their resident advisors in advance.

To make handling issues surrounding Migraines at school easier, we’ve have some forms that should be helpful. You can find them in our Handling Migraines at School Workbook.

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