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How can you treat migraines in children?

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According to the Migraine Research Foundation, treatment for childhood migraines follows three approaches: acute treatment of symptoms, preventive care and complementary care. The FDA has not approved any drugs specifically for the treatment of migraines in children, though some pediatricians prescribe adult medications off-label. Some over-the-counter remedies are also commonly used in treating the symptoms of migraines in children.

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Acute care consists of managing the symptoms of a migraine after it has begun. Preferred approaches, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Some children achieve relief from migraines simply by resting or sleeping, reducing the need for medication. Preventive care usually consists of medication administered daily that prevents or reduces the severity of migraines. This approach is usually considered when a child suffers from four or more disabling headache episodes per month. Finally, many children find relief with a complementary approach to migraine management that revolves around rest and relaxation techniques. A balanced diet and regular exercise can also reduce or eliminate migraine attacks.

According to Mayo Clinic, childhood migraines can be a sign of a serious medical condition. Children who develop migraines after trauma or manifest personality changes, persistent vomiting or neck pain or stiffness must be seen by a doctor to rule out life-threatening conditions.

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