HealthWatch: Headache prevention in children
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Headaches are most common in children and a variety of things can cause this pain.
Dr. Cara Hamilton with Black Hills Pediatrics has some advice.
“At the start of the school year, we’re often seeing children having more and more headaches and this can come from a variety of reasons,” Hamilton said.
“Children can have headaches that are related to hydration. In the summer they have free access to water. During the school year if they forget their water bottle or don’t stop by the drinking fountain, they’re not getting nearly as much water intake as they typically might be.
“They might also need glasses and that’s something because they weren’t reading books all summer or looking at the front of a classroom. Maybe that wasn’t too obvious during the summer months.
“Also, screen-related headaches are common. Kids are spending more and more time on screens these days, in school and after school on homework, etc.
“And of course, anxiety. Some children are very nervous about school attendance, and so they can get headaches that might be related to anxiety as well.
“Now as a parent you can troubleshoot some of these. You can push fluids with your child. If you divide their weight in half and convert it to ounces, that’s a good starting place for a goal of fluid intake for the day,” Hamilton advised. “Of course, if they’re active, if they’re in sports they may need more fluid than that.
“Get their eyes checked if you’re worried about their need for glasses and enforce that they wear those glasses, if they are prescribed to them. For screen time headaches, taking breaks every half an hour 45 minutes can certainly help with screen related headaches.
“Also, investing in some blue light glasses can temper the wavelengths coming into their eyes and effecting their headaches as well.” the doctor suggested.
“For anxiety, be talking through school with your child, and maybe even have their teacher or their counselors speak with them about those anxiety-related headaches, and if you have any questions about any of this as all ways talks with your child’s pediatrician,” Hamilton said.
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