34 answers

Migraines in a 4 Year Old

I think my son my be suffering from migraines, which scares me since I have never experienced them. I didn't think that a child so young could develop migraines, but after some research I found that it's not uncommon. He started out telling me he didn't feel well and his nose hurt. After a while he started to complain that his eyes and head hurt. I was about to give him some Tylenol when he got sick. This happened three times yesterday, about the same time the medicine would were off from the last dose is my guess. In between episodes he acts normal, well as normal as a 4yo boy can be. I have made an appointment for him to see the doctor this morning.

Has anyone else experience migraines with their child at a young age? Is there a way to prevent them or know what can trigger them? I haven't fed him anything differently that I would think may cause them.

Thank you for your help.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I took him in to see the doctor. I explained to him as I explained to you about his headaches. He didn't want to diagnose just yet with migraines, but seemed to think that it was a probable. He asked us to keep a log of when he started to get sick, what were the conditions around him, and what we did to alleviate the pain. His appointment was at 11am and he had another episode around 3:30pm that day, but has not had another episode since then and it has now been a week.

I have a feeling that it may have been a new carpet deodorizer that I started using. I didn't think anything of it, until I realized that my daughter developed a slight rash from it. They may both have a allergy to it, just reacted differently.

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My neice was diagnosed with migraines at three. Take him to a doctor to rule out anything more serious. Diet extremely affects her - particularly certain dyes and sugar substitutes. They had to introduce her to foods slowly to determine the causes - similar to a baby. Finally, medication was limited due to their age, but the doctor recommended a combination of things that her parents can do to make her migraines more manageable. Good luck!

Food additives, dyes, pesticides, etc can cause them. Try feeding him only organic, whole foods without any additives.

I swore that my son got them at that age as well. I was shocked because one moment he was fine and then it was down hill. He would complain of not feeling well, having to go lie down, then darting for the bathroom to throwup. I noticed it when he played TOO much for long periods of time, and when it was hot outside and he didn't drink enough water. (I get them in the same situations.) We found some guidelines for him to help prevent them before they got too bad. Taking a break (watching a movie or playing video games) for a little while to give him some rest. (we made it something fun so he wouldn't feel left out). I also continually keep a glass of water or a water bottle full for him so he could drink every time he passed the kitchen. Good luck!

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I have a 4 yo son too. I would definitely take him to a specialist like an ENT and not just the pediatrician, so that he can receive further testing like and MRI or CAT scan to rule out anything serious. I wouldn't mess around with someone so young experiencing migraines out of the blue.
Tylenol or Motrin only mask the pain, not the underlying cause.

I hope he feels better SOON!


1 mom found this helpful

Wow! I feel sorry for your son - migraines aren't fun!! I've had them for years, sometimes as often as 3 or 4 times a week. Some things that I have found to help me are laying down with an ice pack on the back of his neck and over his eyes/sinuses. A great ice pack that is cold enough, but doesn't freeze your skin is a sock full of rice. If you are crafty - you can sew a tube, and fill it part way with rice, and freeze it. Or, sew a pouch that looks like a letter B for over the eyes. They can also be popped into the microwave for a few seconds if you need a heat pack.
Also, I have gone to chiropractors in the middle of a migraine, and they have gone away after an adjustment.
See if your son can tell you if he has auroas prior to the migraine becoming full blown. I loose my sight before a migraine hits, and I know I have about 5 minutes to take my medicine, take care of my kids, etc, before the pain hits.
Be prepared for him to have a CAT scan - it's a common "next step".

Good luck!!

So sorry about your son. When I was 2 or 3, I began having migrains. It was so awful. I would be sick for a couple of days throwing up from the pain. I got glasses when I was seven. When I was 9, my optometrist told my mom that she wanted me to have rose colored lenses to stop the migraines. My migraines actually did stop after that. I have no idea how that worked, but it did. I only wore them for a year. Don't know if your son has vision problems, but you might check with the optometrist anyway to see if there is anything they might recommend. I know a boy wouldn't want to have pink lenses though. I sure hope that you can get some relief for him.

Ditto to Brandi. My family has a strong history of Migraines and Sinas headaches. My DD is 18 months and I pray that it is not surfacing in her, but, I do see the signs. Since you don't have a history of migraines it may be a little more difficult for you to get in front of the problem. Some common triggers for my daughter and I are excessive humidity or changes in the barometric pressure, over exhaustion, sudden light exposure (strobe lights, fire warning, flickering florescents, etc.) and strong smells (perfume and paint are the worst). DD gets very irritable and combative, she may even squeeze or rub her head when it gets really bad. The best cure I have found for the both of us is to sit in a quiet, dark or dimly lit room and rock. The motions is soothing and the absence of input allows the nervous system to reset.

There have been a lot of good suggestions on this site. I too suffered from migraines from a very young age and it was not until I was a teenager that the doctor was finally able to determine I had been telling the truth all along. I never had a migraine triggered by dietary factors, however they were triggered by stress, dehydration (have to drink a lot of water here in AZ), baramoter changes (I usually get a migraine a day before it rains here), and temparature changes (such as cold A/C blowing directly on my head even though it is 100+ outside). An endocrinologist was also able to find a small adenoma on my pituaitary gland and was able to start treatment.

My recommendation would be to ask the pediatrician for a referral to a nuerologist and ear, nose throat doctor for additional testing.

my dd gets migrains and she is 13 but has been getting them for many years. I figured out the trigger was car rides. I didn't know if it was car sickness or the fumes etc...she gets them for sure when we ride in our Diesel Excursion and not so much when we ride in our minivan. I'm not sure if that is helpful or not but sometimes people can figure out the trigger and sometimes it is trickier.

Hi C.!

You may want to check into food sensitivities and look at the "migraine diets" that are out there. Foods can definitely be a trigger and can easily be avoided.

Good Luck!

I got them frequently as a child. My mother would rub the inbetween shoulder & neck area - pretty hard, then I'd lay down for 15 mins & be fine. Her version of pressure points . . but I did find out later that I was allergic to mold. My migraines tended to be worse the longer I was in the house & dependent on how humid it was. So look into his environment when he gets them too - like is it rainy weather or has he been in the house all wkend? It's hard to pin down WHY he might be getting them. My hormones (once I had children-I stopped getting them as frequent) affected them too. You could try an allergy medicine (like Zyrtec/Claritin-for indoor/outdoor allergies). They make them for children now. Good Luck - poor guy!

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