(NBC News) Getting back into school routines can be stressful for all children, but for some that stress can feel like a vice grip in their head.
Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio say emergency department visits for headaches increase by more than a third after school starts in the fall. School children of all ages are affected.
Boys tend to get them before puberty, while headaches in girls often pop up at puberty and last into adulthood.
Academic stress plays a significant role.
“They are playing sports, they’re maybe starting a job, they’re getting involved with band, football, and it’s just a very hectic time of year for them,” explains Dr. Ann Pakalnis of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Tension headaches and migraines are the two most common types of headaches seen by physicians.
Migraines are less common,but can cause more severe symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light and smell.
Experts say you can help kids avoid headaches by having them eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep and drink plenty of liquids.
They also say if headaches are intruding on your child’s daily routine, it is time to have them evaluated by their doctor.
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