Back To School Is A Real Headache For Many Children

Experts see a spike in headaches in the fall - when is a trip to the doctor necessary?

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – A new study suggests kids who complain that going back to school is a real headache, may have a legitimate point, and some may need to see a doctor.

“We looked at the number of serious headache cases we treated in our emergency department over the last five years and saw a considerable spike during the fall, compared to the rest of the year,” said Dr. Ann Pakalnis, a neurologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and lead author of the study. “We think the stress of going back to school and adjusting to a new schedule and routine are driving those numbers up,” said Pakalnis.

Mirroring a national study that charted headache cases in children, the study at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that visits to the emergency department for serious headaches remained fairly consistent during the winter, spring and summer seasons, but jumped more than 31 percent in the fall.

 “That’s significant,” said Dr. Howard Jacobs, attending headache specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Comprehensive Pediatric Headache Clinic. “Headaches interfere with these kids’ lives, and parents need to be aware of how they can ease their strain or prevent them all together.”


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Adria Houghtby, 15, takes medicine daily to manage her headaches, which peak during the stress of going back to school. Last year, Houghtby missed 10 consecutive days at the start of the school year from a migraine. Researchers at Nationwide Children`s Hospital say headache cases spike in the fall with the stress of the return to school. If your child is experiencing headaches that interfere with their life more than once a week, physicians urge parents to take their child to see a doctor. Details:

Adria Houghtby is just one of the many teens who suffer from headaches and migraines, particularly in the fall when school is back in session. Researchers at Nationwide Children`s Hospital found that emergency department visits for headaches increase 31 percent during the fall season. Physicians urge kids to make sure they are getting enough sleep and staying hydrated to avoid headaches. Details:

Dr. Ann Pakalnis, MD of Nationwide Children`s Hospital tracked emergency department visits in the last five years and found headache cases hiked 31 percent in the fall months. With the start of school, Dr. Pakalnis says that stress is a significant factor in children and teen`s headaches. To learn more about ways to avoid headaches, click here:

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