You are here

6 Inherited Health Conditions


Will the kids get them? These debilitating headaches are often passed on: Your child has as much as a 50 percent chance of developing them if one parent gets them, and an even higher chance if both do.

Signs they got nabbed: Symptoms often include some combination of throbbing pain (usually in the front or sides of the head), nausea or vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraines typically show up around age 8, but some kids get them much sooner; in young children especially, the head pain is often associated with motion sickness.

What you can do: Do your best to identify your child's particular triggers (it can help to keep a log of what he was doing and eating, as well as how he was generally feeling, around the time the pain began). Common ones in kids include fatigue, overexertion, changes in routine, certain foods (aged cheese and processed foods like hot dogs and lunch meats are biggies), and caffeine. Fortunately, kids' headaches are often relieved by going to sleep or taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If the strategies provided by your pediatrician don't bring relief, she may suggest seeking out a pediatric neurologist, says Dr. Saal. After all, unrelenting pain can have a powerful ripple effect on nearly every aspect of your child's life. In fact, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that children with frequent or severe headaches that go untreated have higher levels of emotional, conduct, and peer problems than their headache-free classmates. No wonder: Being a kid is hard enough without having to deal with pain.