Migraines are recurrent headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity. In children, a migraine can last from 2-72 hours.


  • Sleep – 8-10 hours each night
  • Eat – 3 healthy meals a day plus snacks if needed
  • Exercise – 5 times a week doing 30 min of aerobic activity
  • Hydrate – 8200 ounces of fluids daily (avoid caffeine and artificial sweeteners)
  • Limit Screens – take rest breaks (30 minutes on, 10-minute break)
  • Participate – don’t avoid activities because of the headache
  • Distract Yourself – do something that you enjoy when you have pain
  • Desensitize – work through pain to teach the brain to ignore amplified pain signals
  • Journal – see if a pattern emerges in symptoms


At the First Sign of Headache

  • Drink fluids – Have a 16 oz sports drink quickly every time you get a headache (avoid G2/Propel)
  • Aleve – 10 mg/kg/day in 2 divided doses


When to Schedule an Appointment

  • The headache starts after a head injury
  • The headache wakes the child from sleep at night
  • Headaches more than once a month
  • Children younger than 3 years old
  • The symptoms are sudden/severe, occurring with vomiting, neck pain/stiffness, double vision/vision changes, confusion, loss of balance, or fever greater than 100.4°

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