Children get migraines, too, they are not a condition confined to adulthood. Studies have even indicated that infants may get migraines, but this is hard to verify. Current estimates indicate that up to 10% of children between 5-15 years old suffer from migraines, increasing to 28% in the 15-19 age range. Migraine headaches have a real impact on quality of life for children. The high percentage of children that experience migraines makes them a top childhood health problems.
Diagnosing pediatric migraine is similar to diagnosing adult migraines with a few notable exceptions. The International Headache Society’s criteria states that the headache must last 4 to 72 hours. Children’s migraines are generally shorter and this fact needs to be taken into account when attempting to diagnose them. Adult migraines are frequently one-sided, but children’s frequently involve pain on both sides of the head. These headaches should not be dismissed just because they are not one-sided.
For most child migraineurs (people suffering from migrainous headaches) the headaches begin between 5 and 11 years of age. Prior to puberty, the number of male and female children with migraines is roughly equal. After puberty, girls are considerably more likely than boys are to have migraines, most likely due to the same hormonal issues that make the number of adult women migraineurs three times that of the men. Many child migraineurs are fortunate enough to have their condition disappear during puberty or upon reaching adulthood. However, people who have migraines as children are much more likely to become adult migraineurs than those who did not have them as a child. Adult migraine sufferers should watch for migraine symptoms in their children, particular if the other parent also experiences migraines. A child with two migraineur parents has a 70% chance of becoming a migraineur. .
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