Lifestyle Choices for Children Can Decrease Back-to-School Headaches

Neurologists at the Comprehensive Headache Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, report an increase in the incidence of pediatric headache in the fall, a correlation which may be due to elevated stress of return to school, change in routines, and altered sleep patterns. The noted seasonal variation could also be impacted by poor hydration and/or prolonged computer screen time, according to the authors. Their research is based on a retrospective analysis of about 1300 emergency department visits occurring between 2010 and 2014.

Of the 2 primary headache types most frequently treated by clinicians, migraines are less common in children, but more impactful in terms of severity of pain. Tension headaches are less disruptive of children’s normal daily routines. The results support previous research highlighting the importance of lifestyle issues and choices in managing headaches and minimizing their incidence. Healthy lifestyle choices include eating 3 meals a day, adequate nighttime sleep vs daytime napping, sufficient hydration, and minimizing children’s stress levels.

Watch an interview with Dr. Gary Jay, who discusses different types of headache.

Read a news story, with link to additional video about the findings here.





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