Going back to school can cause increase in headaches for some students

CINCINNATI -- Have your kids been complaining about headaches?

Think about this: If you've ever experienced jet lag, that's what doctors say kids are feeling when they go back to school. And it's one reason they could be complaining about headaches.

Changing sleep patterns from their summer schedule and even from staying up late on the weekends can trigger headaches and migraines.

One of the biggest headache and migraine triggers is stress.

Director of Neurology at Children's Hospital Dr. Andrew Hershey said there are things parents can do to help prevent migraines.

"Parents can try to make sure that the child is taking good care of themselves, not skipping meals, eating healthy getting enough sleep on a regular basis, exercising at least three times per week and getting plenty of fluids that are non caffeinated," said Dr. Hershey.

Dr. Hershey says that when you have a headache or migraine, the blood vessels in your head are dilated.

One thing that can help alleviate the dilation are sports drinks.

"Sports drinks contain salt sugar and water the sugar helps the salt refill those dilated blood vessels," said Dr. Hershey.

Dr. Hershey said to look for sports drinks containing 3 percent or less sugar.

According to the NIH, 10 percent of children and adolescents ages five-15 suffer from migraines. It can also be a problem for teen girls -- research shows 28 percent have migraines.

Dr. Hershey said parents should bring their children to a physician if the migraines or headaches don't go away quickly, if it is causing them to miss school or if they're having trouble functioning.

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