Headaches are a common complaint among both children and adults. In fact, the World Health Organization says the following:
“Globally, it has been estimated that prevalence among adults of current headache disorder (symptomatic at least once within the last year) is about 50%. Half to three quarters of adults aged 18–65 years in the world have had headache in the last year and, among those individuals, 30% or more have reported migraine. Headache on 15 or more days every month affects 1.7–4% of the world’s adult population. Despite regional variations, headache disorders are a worldwide problem, affecting people of all ages, races, income levels and geographical areas.”
According to Children’s Health:
“Approximately 40% of children experience headaches by age 7 and 75% of children will experience a headache by age 15.”
Instead of reaching for painkillers or some acetaminophen, consider using a bag of frozen peas as an ice pack to relieve the pain. Also consider whether one of these common reasons for headaches in children might be the source. If so, prevent further headaches in the future by a change in lifestyle.
1. Dehydration causes headaches
It can be hard for kiddos to remember to drink the water they need to. Water isn’t as exciting and flavorful as things like juice or soda. However, water is the substance the human body needs more than any other. The human body needs to replenish the nutrients it is made of so it can keep functioning the way it was meant to. The human body is made of 70% water, the cells are 75% water, the brain is 80% water, blood is 85% water, and cells are 90% water. That’s a lot of water, and the body is constantly using and flushing it. Therefore, it’s in constant need of more.
Water Benefits Health offers these symptoms of dehydration.
- Headache or head rush
- Slightly dry mucous membranes
- Slightly decreased urine output
- Dark yellow urine
- Loss of appetite
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Dry or flushed skin
- Head rushes
What Can You Do?
Help a little one rehydrate by giving them some good, simple water. Put some pink Himalayan rock salt or Celtic sea salt in the water to boost their electrolytes. If they won’t drink plain water, don’t go right to the colorful, sugary drinks–try some infused water for some added flavor and health benefits. Make sure you aren’t making these hydration mistakes.
2. Toxins cause headaches
The air and water we take in, as well as cleaning products and hair products can all hold toxins that trigger our immune response. These toxins weary the immune system, and make it less able to fight pathogens and protect the body. These toxins aren’t always obvious until our body tells us that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. That’s what a headache does.
There are also some toxins in food like food colorings and preservatives. There are also foods that are naturally more inflammatory like dairy, gluten, and soy.
What can You Do?
Stay away from food colorings, preservatives, and inflammatory foods. Get your little one tested to see if there are any bacterial infections or toxins they’re fighting.
Test the air and water in the house, and get new filters, if need be. A good air filter is the Triad Aer. Reach out to a Wellness Way clinic near you to find out how to order one.
3. Diet causes headaches
A little one’s headache could be a sign that the body isn’t getting the food it needs, or that it’s being fed food it’s allergic to. Eating allergens leads to inflammation, which can lead to things like irritability, bloating, aches and pains, and even mental illnesses. These symptoms may not always be obvious, especially if the body has been being fed the allergens regularly for a while. There are, however, many signs and symptoms of hidden inflammation.
A headache could also mean that a little one isn’t getting enough nutrients or vitamins such as magnesium, vitamin D, or the B vitamins.
What Can You Do?
Children eating food they need, and that the food they’re eating is good, quality, organic foods. This is especially important for things like the dirty dozen. For ideas on healthy snacks, check out this article, or our snack recipes. Get a child’s allergies tested to figure out which “healthy foods” they as an individual should avoid.
4. Too Much Screen Time Causes Headaches
According to Harvard Health:
“Bright lights and screens definitely can trigger migraines in susceptible children and adults, but staring at a computer, phone, or iPad can trigger a headache for anyone if used for too long.”
Like a lot of the causes on this list, this is a potential cause for an adult’s headache, as well as a child’s. A study done by the NIH came to the conclusion that:
“High levels of screen time exposure are associated with migraine in young adults.”
What Can You Do?
With all the electronics we use these days–taking up nearly half a day for adults according to the first-quarter 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report–it’s no surprise that we spend too much time in front of a screen.
Set limits for time spend in front of a computer, iPad, phone, or TV. Have the child take breaks to get up and cross their midline when working or playing online games. Stop using screens an hour before bed. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends not letting the child sleep with screens in their room, as the electronic waves can disrupt sleep.
5. Mental stress
Headaches and stress act like the chicken and egg question–which came first and caused the other? The answer is both. That’s not all that surprising—anyone who has had a hard day at work knows that headaches can follow not long after. It’s no question that a headache is a large source of physical stress as well as mental stress.
As it turns out, not only is having a headache stressful, but a study done in Germany also found that those with more or bigger stressors have worse headaches.
What Can You Do?
Help ease the mental stress your little one is under. Is their schedule changing? Are they going through something hard? All of this can add to mental stress. It’s important to teach little ones to regulate their stress and emotions. There are, of course, some things we can’t stop, but it’s important to let kids be kids and have time to play outside and destress.
6. Physical stress
Whether a kiddo recently took a tumble or has just spent time playing like kids should, their body is put under stress just by nature of being alive. Physical stresses like falls or sicknesses or the toxins mentioned above take a toll on the body and can result in inflammation.
What Can You Do?
Reach out to a Wellness Way clinic to get adjusted and help your body get back to functioning properly.
Headaches are painful and can significantly interrupt someone’s day. They happen to a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean they’re normal. Headaches are a sign that something is not right in the body, and that it needs to be addressed. To learn more, watch this video.
Reach out to a Wellness Way clinic to determine the root cause of the problem and restore your health.