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When Kids Get Migraines

One in every 20 youngsters battles migraine headaches, but your child's risk jumps to one in three if you or her dad also suffers from them. Typically, it's not until age 5 or 6 that a child will have the first one, but some will get them as young as 2. If yours has more than an occasional mild headache:

Have her describe her symptoms. Say, "What does your head feel like? Does light hurt your eyes?" She can draw her headache to help the doctor figure out how much, and where, it hurts.

Keep a headache diary. Pay attention to when one occurs. Did it come on after she ate a certain food or had a restless sleep? These details can be key to diagnosis and possibly prevention.

Ask about a prescription. There are medications that are safe and widely used for treatment and prevention of migraines in kids.

Call the pediatrician immediately if your child has progressively worsening headaches, daily morning headaches, a sudden loss of coordination or motor control, or severe pain accompanied by a fever, neck stiffness, or profound lethargy.