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Headaches in School Aged Children

JacksonBeing a school aged child is hard. They go through a lot of stress that can be easy to shrug off and tell them to “tough it out”. The challenge is that even if these issues are seemingly minor now, they often get worse as they get older. Giving them a boost and taking care of these problems at a young age will help them for the rest of their life!

It is far too often that we see school aged children come into the clinic complaining of consistent headaches that are pulling them from school, sports and other after school activities. Headaches in school aged children are very common, but why? They can be the result of a number of reasons:

  • Poor posture at their desk
  • Increased screen time
  • Poor sleep
  • Not enough physical activity
  • Increased stress
  • Dehydration

While every kid child is different, it is likely that one or more of these are the cause. Increased screen time causes an overstimulation of the nervous system. This means that your child’s brain is not able to hit the “off” switch at the end of the day because it is still trying to process the stimulation. In turn this can cause headaches, inability to focus and behavior problems.

Sometimes kids don’t know how to communicate how they are feeling because it is something they have never experienced before, especially in elementary age children. Sometimes it is a matter of how they are behaving. It is important for you, as a parent or guardian, to recognize symptoms and behaviors associated with headaches.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • Low energy
  • Not wanting to talk about their day
  • Having consistent “bad” days at school
  • Unusual squinting in bright lit areas
  • Vision changes
  • Poor sleep
  • Complaining of neck/shoulder pain

School aged children are BUSY. It is an age where they are growing physically, socially, and mentally which is already a major stressor on their nervous system. Adding regular headaches to the mix is a whole new problem. We see first-hand how much these headaches affect not only your child, but your whole family. Sometimes it means having to schedule your entire day around your child’s headaches. Missed practices, limited family time, poor sleeping patterns (for both kids and parents), you name it. Our job is to make sure that your child’s nervous system is functioning at 100%. Stress plays a major role in how our nervous system functions. Increased stress causes increased irritation on the nervous system and ultimately an increase in symptoms, like headaches.

My best advice to you, find yourself a good pediatric chiropractor. THIS is our job. THIS is what we love. Helping families live their lives to the highest quality, and that starts with a healthy nervous system!