The back-to-school season is almost here, and with it comes a new warning – there’s a chance your child will honestly experience headaches during this time.
A team of researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, Ohio) have found that headaches really increase among children during fall months. The team theorized that the change may be explained by anything from academic stress, to different bedtime routines, to any other triggers.
The researchers reached this conclusion by looking at 1.300 visits to their hospital’s emergency department. They noticed that children with the age between 5 and 18 had about the same number of headache related visits for most of the months. However, the number increased by 31 percent (31%) during fall months.
Dr. Ann Pakalnis, lead researcher, neurologist and director of the Comprehensive Headache Clinic from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, gave a statement in a video saying that “Stress is really a significant player with children’s and teen’s headaches — parents report that all the time, we see that all the time. And school is the biggest stressor”.
But field experts also agree that an increasing number of after-school activities, not drinking enough fluids, skipping meals, too much screen time and lack of physical exercise, all contribute to the increase in headaches around this time of the year.
The National Headache Foundation informs that about 20 percent (20%) of children and teenagers are likely to get headaches once summer ends and they have to go back to school. This adds up to 10.3 million students in the United States alone.
What’s more, the organization also says that around 15 percent (15%) of this group suffer through tension-type headaches, and that 5 percent (5%) suffer through migraines.
On top of this, children and teenagers who have to deal with migraines usually also experience vomiting and nausea, as well as sensitivity to light and noise. Tension-type headaches, on the other hand, usually bring with them anxiety, stress and fatigue.
The good news is that many of these headache cases can be prevented. Dr. Howard Jacobs, headache expert from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, gave a statement of his own saying that “Your brain is like your cellphone”.
He went on to explain that if people don’t charge their cellphones, the devices run out of energy and stop working well. The human brain works the same way – if people don’t recharge their brains by providing them with enough energy, they also stop working well, and headaches start to show up.
He went on to recommend a few things that may make it easier for children and teenagers to escape this experience – make sure to eat three (3) balanced meals each day, make sure to drink plenty of liquids (but try to avoid sports drinks and caffeine), make sure to get enough sleep at night and avoid taking naps during the day, and make sure to remove the stress in your child’s day if you’re a parent.
The National Sleep Foundation informs that children between the age of 6 and 13 should get 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night, while older teens should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
Image Source: backtohealth.com.au