Dr. Elton on Fending Off Migraines

Approximately ten percent of young children suffer from painful and debilitating migraines, and that number gradually increases as adolescence sets in (Migraine Research Foundation).

Migraines are serious headaches that can be brought on by stress, heat, exhaustion, or seasonal allergies. Other migraine triggers include:


             Menstruation or hormonal changes

             Certain food items, like caffeine, as well as food preservatives and dyes

             Prolonged screen time or excessive auditory or visual stimulation

             Head injury

Child Neurology Consultant’s Dr. Lindsay Elton is a lifelong sufferer of migraines herself, but she has become adept at fending them in advance when she can.

“I have had episodic migraine headaches, and I find that I can often head them off with a few simple strategies implemented in the early stages of the headache,” said Dr. Elton. 

To stop a migraine in its tracks, she recommends:

             Hydrate! Drink an extra 20-30 ounces of water ASAP!

             Have a little snack- something light, like a piece of fruit such as berries or apple slices.

             Eliminate environmental triggers and go somewhere cool, dark and quiet if possible.

             Sit down and take slow quiet breaths or do a quick 10-minute meditation using an app like Headspace or something similar.

             Take a dose of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen but be sure to limit use of these medications to only a few doses in a week to avoid the risk of medication overuse headaches.

Dr. Elton says that If your child’s headaches are frequent, severe or do not respond to medications, then you may need to see your regular physician or a neurologist to discuss additional evaluation and treatment strategies.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elton or one of our other pediatric neurology specialists, please contact us here.

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