For children, migraines can look very different than they do for adults. In fact, what seems to be tummy trouble or car sickness may actually be a migraine. This month, we look at childhood migraines and give you a tool for working with your doctor to help your child.

We'll also look rub-on migraine relief that's probably already in your medicine cabinet, plus how to tell if your child is getting enough magnesium-key to avoiding migraines, anxiety, restlessness and other problems.

As always, we welcome your inputs about your own experiences as well as any topics you'd like us to address.

Amanda DiBenedetto
Amanda DiBenedetto
Linpharma Customer Education

Migraines: They're Different for Children

Is your child's headache a migraine? Or is it an allergy, sinus problem or eyesight issue? And what about those bouts of car sickness and intense tummy aches-could they actually be migraines?
Migraines can look very different for children compared with adults. In fact, for some children, the worst symptoms of migraine may not even be headache but a stomachache or nausea. The pain caused by a migraine can be different, too. Understanding these differences is a critical starting point for figuring out what's going on and how to get your child some relief.
Compared to adults, children have migraines that ...
  • Feature shorter, compressed attacks: With children, migraine attacks sometimes last less than an hour. The attacks can come on very quickly as well-often going from the first warning of a migraine to intense pain in just 15 minutes. Relief can be just as fast: For example, even 15 minutes of sleep can be enough to help ease off a child's migraine.
  • Include whole-head pain: In adults, migraine pain is typically on just one side of the head. In children, however, the pain can often affect both sides.
  • Are not just "in their heads:" For some children, there may be no actual headache, or it may not be the main symptom. Instead, they may experience aura symptoms such as disturbed vision, dizziness, fatigue, or sensitivity to loud noises or bright light that lead to pain in the abdomen or nausea. Car sickness may be an indicator of migraine. Sometimes, vomiting may actually bring relief from the migraine attack.
  • Can't always be treated with adult medicines: Children cannot be given some of the prescription drugs used for adult migraine sufferers. Plus, caution must be used even with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

If you're worried about what's going on with your own child, you should contact your pediatrician. Plus, by gathering information about your child's unique symptoms-including when attacks occur and what types of triggers may exist- you can help your doctor find the right diagnosis and treatment quickly. To gather this information, use our CHILDHOOD MIGRAINE ASSESSMENT TOOL CLICK HERE

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Rub Out Migraines

Well-known for relieving muscle soreness, menthol may be an effective way for you to ease migraine pain. A study reported in the International Journal of Clinical Practice found that people who suffered migraine with aura were able to get sustained pain relief by rubbing their foreheads and temples with menthol.

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TRY THIS: Look for menthol essential oil online or in health food stores. Or, check your medicine cabinet: Vicks Vaporub is perfect for a migraine menthol massage. Of course, as with any essential oil or product containing them, irritation can occur: be sure to check for reactions first.
Is Your Child Getting Enough Magnesium?

Stress even a mild magnesium deficiency can contribute to problems like agitation, anxiety and tummy troubles. If your child experiences migraines, you'll want to pay particular attention to magnesium levels since research seems to show a link between deficiencies and migraines.
The first step is to know how much magnesium your child should be consuming each day. Here are the Recommended Daily Allowances from the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

1-3 years80 mg
4-8 years130 mg
9-13 years240 mg
14-18 years360 mg (410 for boys)

Next, keep a diary of what your child eats during a day. Look up the amount of magnesium in all the foods and compare the total to the RDAs above. If you find your child's diet is not providing the minimum RDA, you're not alone. Many children's diets do not include enough green leafy vegetables, nuts and other sources of magnesium.

If you do note an apparent deficiency, a magnesium supplement may be the best way to reach the RDA. But, as with any treatment you consider for your child, talk with your doctor first.

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All-in-one, clinical strength supplement for correcting Magnesium, B2 and CoQ10 deficiencies associated with neurological discomfort.
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