Migraine in Children - American Migraine Foundation

Signs & Symptoms

Migraine in Children

Nothing hurts more than seeing your child in pain. Learn how to spot signs and symptoms, explore treatment options, advocate for them at school and more.

Patient & Caregivers

What to Know About
Migraine & Children

If you’re a parent or caregiver, it’s important to understand what migraine looks like for children, how symptoms may present differently than in adults and how to help them navigate this disease. We created a helpful video that explains migraine to your child and provides pointers on how to advocate at school.

10% of children have migraine.

If one or both parents has migraine, there is a 50-75% chance their child will have it.

Children usually have shorter migraine attacks than adults do.

Migraine attacks typically occur spontaneously, but some children have specific triggers that initiate an attack.

Diagnosing Migraine
in Children

Migraine may present in children differently than in adults. For example, head pain is often present on both sides of the head or the forehead and is usually not reported as “pounding” in nature. They also may exhibit irritability or a desire to lie down rather than experience sensitivity to sound or light. If you suspect your child has migraine, keep track of any head and stomach pain to discuss with their pediatrician.

Migraine Treatment for Children

While there is no cure for migraine, it is possible to manage it so that symptoms and triggers are kept to a minimum. Speak with your child’s doctor to determine the best treatment plan, which may include lifestyle changes such as:

Supporting Children with Migraine in School

As a parent or caregiver, you are your child’s best advocate. Work with their school to ensure they get the best care possible.

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