29 answers

Headaches/Migraines In 6 Yr Old

My son has had some spells of throwing up in the last few months. Before these spells, he has complained to me about having a headache. I personally have never heard of a 6 yr old getting migraines. Has anyone out there been through this? A trigger?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I think we have narrowed it down to him being hungry when the headaches appear. Thanks for all of your great advice.

Featured Answers

My son has had migraines since he was an infant. Since 3-4 months old, he would ocassionally start crying and continue all night til he threw up and then be better and fall asleep. At the time, i thought it he disagreed with the food, but as he got older, i started to realize there was pain in his head behind his eyes. I took him to the doctor, they did tests and diagnosed migraine. Typically they start at night and ibuprofen asap is sufficient to stop the progression. They sometimes start in the middle of the night, which is bad because they are farther along before he wakes to take the meds and take longer to stop. He usually has them each night for 2 or 3 nights. He may go almost 6 months or longer before the next cluster. I think smoke, or strong smells like candles or even flowers are triggers, although sometimes they come and i cant see a trigger. It seems like he'll sometimes have them in the fall (why i don't know). He's 16 now.

I have been havign migranes as long as i can remember. When I was 5 my mother took me in & the doctor told her that yes, I was having migranes.

I have never had one specific trigger. However stress, dehydration, & later in life hormones are my major issues.

When he gets them try to keep the ambient noise & light as low as possible & let him sleep it off. Excederine has been the only thing that has ever worked for me (something about the aspirin, aceteminefine & caffine in combo, all other narcotics & barbituates didn't help) but if you are not comfortable giving that to him some childrens tylenol with a little caffine should help. Also a cold compress or ice back on the forehead works wonders if you can get him to keep it on. The BeKool fever patches work to but not for as long.

They are an awful thing to suffer through & i hope you can find the trigger & a solution that works.

Best of luck

My Nephew had them and when he started with the headache and he told us we gave him pain relievers and it would stop but if he didn't tell us he would get a full blown one and not a pretty sight! Good luck!

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Please take her to your doctor and do NOT let him/her blow this off. I certainly do not intend to cause a panic, but it is unusual for a child to complain of headaches for this length of time, and when combined with throwing up is a concern. Any other changes? Motor control? Memory? Concentration? Attitude changes? Hopefully it's nothing, but if this continues, make sure your doctor orders some diagnostic tests (MRI)--If it goes away in the next week, fine, but if it continues, get it checked out and not just "brushed off" by the MD.

1 mom found this helpful

First off: Michelle K: YOU are so right! It is of concern, a total check up is needed. We had a CT scan done, to rule out any vascular malformation, possible ballooning, growth, etc.

Wanted to tell you that we went through this when our son was about 5 or 6. He'd grab the back of his head and say he wanted to throw up.

I did research, through our Children's Hospital here, and found out that children--unlike adults--almost always have a physical cause to their headaches.

We did 2 things that have eliminated our migraines: we stopped all MSG. That was huge. And we see a chiropractor. A children's study out of the pain center at our Children's Hospital found that 80% of children were helped with chiropractic care, vs only 20% of adults and chiropractic care and headaches.

Seems to be due to a physical cause, more than stress, etc., in adults.

Good luck!

P.S.People: PLEASE don't email me about chiropractic care, etc..Last time I mentioned this, I received a floodgate of responses about my opinion. Everyone has their own opinion, so, please: you have yours, I have mine. So many times I hesitate to even comment on a question b/c of the barrage of emails I get back when someone strongly disagrees. Let's let people think on their own, alright? Thank you.

1 mom found this helpful

I used to get migraines all the time as a small child. And sporadically through the years. I am 40 now. I remember my mom being terrified and took me to all sorts of docs for tests. I did get glasses at the age of six. And now my triggers are artificial sweeteners. Even a small drop.
I agree with everything everyone advised. Thorough eye exam for sure from an Opthamologist. Dentist, Chiropractor. I would look at diet as well and eliminate all artificial sweeteners. Even the dyes in processed food can do weird things to our bodies. The more natural the better.
Also, when I get a migraine now, the thing that works best for me is ibuprofen and sleep.
My heart goes out to your son, poor thing. I know you will figure this out for him.
~SH

Definentely be seen by a doctor and rule out anything serious. My 4yr old was having headaches and puking spells when he was 3, he would wake up at 3am and cry that his head hurt and then he would throw up. He did this for a few weeks and we took him to his ped who told us to simply watch him, its probably reflux. After a month his ped agreed it was time for an MRI. He was sedated and they did an MRI and thankfully found nothing in his brain, but it was still very scary. He continued to throw up and have the headaches for 3mos ,then they went away. We did begin chiropractic care and watching his diet for reflux triggers.

My point is, if he's really having a hard time then he should be seen. A brain tumor in children usually presents as headaches and throwing up in the mornings. But of course food issues, stress, migraines, and being out of alignment and needing chiropractic care can all be causes for his migraines. Get him to his doctor.

Have you considered toxins in the home? Both vomiting and headaches can be signs of a toxic system (lots of poisons in the body). I would suggest removing all things that have scents, such as candles, cleaners, laundry detergent, scent diffusers, sprays, febreze. Replace cleaners with non toxic cleaners that do not have scents. Keep the diet simple with plain foods for a while. Avoid msg and artificial colors and flavors. As hard as it is, avoid candy. Keep a journal /chart in which you record his environment, activities, food & behaviors/symptoms. Do this for about a month. Then look for patterns in your notes.

In my own experience it was not headaches, it was other things, but this approach can help. Contact me personally if you want to know any more. I use Shaklee cleaners; I also distribute them. My child is on a restricted diet. Yes, it can be a pain but guess what, it's great when he's healthy. I am happy to help by emailing the charts I created to keep notes. You really have to become a detective.

And I agree with the chiropractor road too. Not all chiropractors are the same. Look for one who educates you.
A.
http://A.-happel.myshaklee.com

I have a ten year old in my daycare that has been experiencing migrains for years. He has had ct scans and any test you can imagine and they found nothing. His mother and I just started writing down what he did and ate throughout the day to see if we could find rhyme or reason for these episodes. The only thing we really found is he wasn't drinking very much. He doesn't like juice and isn't really fond of milk so we really push a lot of water. He started playing tackle football this fall and he started having them again when practice started. I started giving him 2 pb&j sandwiches and a lot of water before he left. That did seem to help. We also don't notice as many migrains since he was started on a new medication for his ADD. The doctors don't know if that's a direct result of the new medication or if he is starting to outgrow the migrains. Good luck.

My brother got them as a youngster..he'd go in a dark room lay down and sure enough end up puking and being fine after that. Migraines run in our family.

Now with your son I would have him examined by a dr. to rule out anything serious, prehaps he can be prescribed a medication for his headaches/migraines.

Hi S. -

I haven't heard of someone so young having migraines. Has he seen a doctor? To be beyond paranoid - what about getting a MRI or CT scan to make sure that everything's fine?

I hope his migraines clear up soon!

S.,
Could it be a sinus infection? My son (8 now) started getting headaches when he was 5 with sinus infections. He gets SI's when ever he has a bad cold because he is NOT good about blowing his nose. If your son seems stuffy and has headaches, an ENT doc would be a good place to start. Our regular peds doc (who is great) never made that connection but the ENT knew it immediately. Throwing up could also be a symptom if your son has mucus running down his throat. Just a thought...

Yes, our son has gotten headaches regularly since he was about 5. He is 7 1/2 now. He has thrown up from them 3 or 4 times. I kept a headache journal for quite some time trying to figure out why. Sometimes was triggered by hunger, other times he was getting sick but sometimes I had no idea why. They seem to occur in clusters. He will get very frequent headaches for several weeks and then I won't hear about it for a while. The pediatrician says he is just a healthy kid that gets headaches and he may grow out of it at adolescence. He grandpa also remembers getting severe headaches as a child and doesn't ever get them now so I am hopeful. Motrin does help him a lot so we try to have him tell us when the headache starts rather than waiting until it is severe. He has a motrin permission slip at school for the headaches.

Have you had his eyes checked. Sometimes kids get "migraines" when they need glasses.

My Nephew had them and when he started with the headache and he told us we gave him pain relievers and it would stop but if he didn't tell us he would get a full blown one and not a pretty sight! Good luck!

Definitely get him in to a CHIROPRACTOR as soon as possible! It WILL HELP!

Did he hit his head at all? I think he needs to be checked by a Dr.

My daughter is seven and has had three episodes like this over the last six months or so. She complains of a headache, always in the afternoon at school, and within the next few hours throws up, then takes a short nap, then feels perfectly fine. I believe these are migraines, I've never had one. I was very interested in reading the other responses. I think eating habits (not enough protein, too much sugar), and not getting enough fluids could be a trigger. Stress happens for children, too. She has been to an eye doctor and dentist with no problems found. If this happens again, I will discuss chiropractic care with her father, as I do believe in the benefit of this.

Children do get migraines or it could be stress headaches or it maybe something more serious especially if this is a new issue. I would seek medical attention immediately.

S.,
My youngest daughter was put on daily meds to try and keep her migraines controllable from the time she was 7 yrs old. My oldest grandson has been getting migraines since he was a toddler. These happen and they do run in the family. I would guess that someone in your blood line has suffered from migraines in their lives.

Put him in a darkened room with absolutely no noise at all. Migraines make you very hyper sensitive to light and noise. It can be excruciating for a migraine sufferer. I have suffered with them since I was a child and I've been on daily meds for about 15 -20 yrs now to keep them controllable - but they still happen, just not as often.

Good luck!
D.

Eyes, head and teeth. My son started headaches a few years ago - he's nine. I was heartbroken, considering mine began in high school - and it's taken YEARS to define where they come from.

However, within six months of his most severe episodes, (nothing seemed to bring the pain down) - a large hidden cavity was discovered at a dental exam. I couldn't see the cavity by looking in his mouth -hidden between teeth- and lo and behold - the headaches lessened to a mere 'my head hurts, mom' thing every now and then (lack of sleep, stress or too much of any one thing.) He also now wears glasses for board work and chooses to use them for tv or any long exposure to any one item.

Good luck, but I second getting him examined - really, by all three - pediatrician, vision and dental.

T.

I would start with an eye exam. My daughter got headaches like that, brought her in for an eye exam and turned out she needed glasses (she was 5 at the time). That took care of the headaches. When she starts getting headaches again, that usually means I need to take her back to the eye doctor because her lense prescription needs to be changed - about once a year or year and a half. That takes care of the headaches again. It takes a few days after she gets her new glasses for her eyes to adjust and the headaches to go away.
If that doesn't work, try chiropractor and dental appointments.

I also recommend chiropractic. I've been getting my kids adjusted since they were all a few months old. My six year old gets excited to go, and always tells me how much better he feels after getting adjusted. I love our Gonstead chiro, and you can find someone in your area here: http://icpa4kids.com/index.php

Good Luck!

It can happen. I know of one youngster who wasn't drinking enough water and that would cause headaches.\K.
http://K..myshaklee.com

I have had migraines since I was about 9 or 10. Mine are stress, food and hormone related. Did you son recently start Kindergarden? Maybe something is bothering him from school and he is internalizing it. I thought that my daughter told me everything, but found out that she really doesn't tell me anything (she confides in my mom). Also, once I was diagnosed, I had to start talking to a counselor about ways to deal with stress - I still use those techniques today. Also, I was not allowed any caffeine, cheese, chocolate or nuts for about a year. It did help - but was very hard as a kid. Drink lots of water!!!

The sooner you can catch it and get meds in - the better. If I let it go - it can last up to three or four days. He will start to figure out what the warning signs are - tingly fingers or blurred vision, maybe he won't be able to concentrate or his teeth might feel funny or maybe a funny taste in his mouth - whatever it is for him.

As another poster suggested, check with you dentist also. Maybe his migraines start out smaller like a tension headache and then build up???

I feel so sorry for your son - I know how painful it can be. Sometimes I would lay in the closet with the door shut and sleep. I know it sounds crazy, but it was cool, dark and quiet. I hope that he grows out of these or finds a way to cope with them. Good Luck to you and Happy Holidays!

I have not had that exact experience but son often compained of headaches. I started taking him to a chiropractor about 2 months ago which has made all the difference. (I started seeing a chiropractor 2 years ago because of my migraines and I can count on one had how many I have had in that time. I was getting them about 3 times a week.) When I saw his x rays I was shocked at the curve in his spine. And shocked to see that his head was basically sitting on his shoulder. This probably happened about 1 year ago when he had a bike accident and broke his collar bone. Had I never taken him I would have never known the severe damage to his spinal cord. He probably woudl have been diagnosed with scoliosis and then would have had surgery. It sound pretty scary for you and your son. Sounds like you should definately talk with the doc. And a chiropractor too. Good Luck!

Last week my son had a fever we got the fever to go away then about n hour later he complained of headache we tried everything they did a ct drew blood ran tests nothin. They gave him oxycodone to make it go away after 24hrs. He was fine after that but now one week later he has another one...these r migrains but he is complaining it hurts n points to his fore head. I ask if it hurts on temples, behind his eyes, back of the head ect...He has no stiffness in neck...His biological father and sister both have migraines as well but his sisters where never so close together when she was 6. I think I may have to take him to c a neurologist for an MRI I don't know what to do!!!

My daughter suffers from the same thing. After MANY months/years we finally came to the conclusion that she suffers from Cyclical Vomitting Syndrome CVS. Check it out the diagnosis online. She now takes a prescribed antinausea medication at the first sign of migrane/stomach. Email me if you want to chat about it more ____@____.com

I started getting migraines when I was in 3rd grade (age 8). I got the headache followed by the vomiting. I would be sick until I got the dry heaves. Then I could finally sleep and the headache would settle down. Eventually I started getting visual disturbances before the headache would start. (I compare those disturbances to watching static on tv--like a channel with no station. It would work it's way across my field of vision. When it stopped, the migraine would hit full force.) My parents took me to the neurologist who officially diagnosed them--based on symptoms and a family history. (Several relatives get them.) I'm guessing that now they would possibly do more of a work-up than they did when I was a kid.
My neurologist gave us a list of potential triggers, and I have found a few that are mine. One food is chocolate--I can eat some, but if I eat too much too many days in a row, I might get a headache. My grandpa used to have beer as a trigger, but your son shouldn't have that problem! :) Your son also won't have to deal with one of my triggers--the hormonal changes at that "time of the month." :)
Weather changes are also a trigger for me. The worst time is one of those really hot, muggy summer days when a storm system rolls in. That weather/barometric pressure change often triggered migraines for me. One of my environmental triggers can also be fluorescent lights.
Stress plays a role in my headaches. Sometimes I get them when I am under too much stress. More often I get them when the stress is finally resolved--almost as if my body is "clearing out" it's system. (One of my worst migraines was on the day of my high school graduation.)
The good news for me is that I have somewhat outgrown the migraines. When I was in grade school and high school, I got them quite a bit. Now I get them very infrequently. I seem to get less of the vomiting now, but the headaches tend to be more intense and last longer.
I see a chiropractor when my migraines flare (after I'm done with the day of being pretty sick). When I feel a headache coming on, I usually take one aspirin, one Tylenol, and drink some Coke with it. The combo of drugs plus caffiene has worked better for me than the prescription I was on as a kid. (I don't really want to get a prescription now because I already take several meds for a chronic disease.)
I hope some of this helps and you find some good answers for your son!
(P.S. During a migraine, lying down in a dark, quiet room was always a must for me. Sometimes a cold washcloth on my forehead also helped.)

I have been havign migranes as long as i can remember. When I was 5 my mother took me in & the doctor told her that yes, I was having migranes.

I have never had one specific trigger. However stress, dehydration, & later in life hormones are my major issues.

When he gets them try to keep the ambient noise & light as low as possible & let him sleep it off. Excederine has been the only thing that has ever worked for me (something about the aspirin, aceteminefine & caffine in combo, all other narcotics & barbituates didn't help) but if you are not comfortable giving that to him some childrens tylenol with a little caffine should help. Also a cold compress or ice back on the forehead works wonders if you can get him to keep it on. The BeKool fever patches work to but not for as long.

They are an awful thing to suffer through & i hope you can find the trigger & a solution that works.

Best of luck

It is possible for children to get migraines. They can be triggered by food, stress - not different to the triggers for adults. Sometimes they disappear during puberty. Your pediatrician should help you with it. Also, it might help to revisit the past months and evaluate if there were any changes in home/school setting or diet. All the best for your son!

My son has had migraines since he was an infant. Since 3-4 months old, he would ocassionally start crying and continue all night til he threw up and then be better and fall asleep. At the time, i thought it he disagreed with the food, but as he got older, i started to realize there was pain in his head behind his eyes. I took him to the doctor, they did tests and diagnosed migraine. Typically they start at night and ibuprofen asap is sufficient to stop the progression. They sometimes start in the middle of the night, which is bad because they are farther along before he wakes to take the meds and take longer to stop. He usually has them each night for 2 or 3 nights. He may go almost 6 months or longer before the next cluster. I think smoke, or strong smells like candles or even flowers are triggers, although sometimes they come and i cant see a trigger. It seems like he'll sometimes have them in the fall (why i don't know). He's 16 now.

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