4 Tips for getting them ready for Class- Does your child suffer headaches, and dread going back to school? For children who get migraine headaches, September means anxiety, stress, and chronic head pain.
School’s In for Fall
Summer is almost over, and while parents of school-aged children are hurriedly shopping for new clothes, schoolbooks, and school supplies for their kids, your biggest concern is how to prepare your child for the inevitability of migraine symptoms at school. Worries flood your thoughts; some of your doubts might include:
- What will happen if his new teacher doesn’t understand about child migraines?
- What can I do if she has a migraine at school?
- What is the school’s “zero tolerance” policy regarding children with headaches?
- How can I effectively protect my child from migraine headache triggers?
- If he misses a test because of migraines, can he take a retest?
- Will the other children in class tease him because of his frequent migraines?
- How can I raise migraine awareness in my child’s new school?
In order to start the school year off right, you need to have a migraine strategy. Below are some helpful tips for asserting your child’s rights without drawing any unnecessary attention.
(1) Be open, but optimistic about your child’s illness. Inform the teacher that should she feel a migraine headache approaching, your daughter might need to get a drink of cold water and lie down for a few minutes, or step outside for a breath of fresh air. If bright fluorescent lighting triggers her migraines, then she will need permission to wear sunglasses during class.
(2) Familiarize yourself with school policies. Ask your school’s principal about their policy regarding absences, tardiness, medications, and any special arrangements for children who suffer from chronic illness. Explain that while you fully expect your child to participate in class, there might be times when severe migraines prevent him from handing in a homework assignment on time, or appearing for a test. If exercise is a factor in his migraines, then ask if he may sit out any strenuous workouts during physical education classes.
(3) Keep the migraine management regimen active. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest, drinks water throughout the day, eats three square meals a day, and has all her migraine treatment prescriptions refilled. If she requires any identification for her chronic migraines, make sure that she wears it to school every day. Explain that she is not under any circumstances to accept medicine from anybody other than the school nurse, providing that the school has up-to-date information on her migraine medications.
(4) Get support. The internet is full of great migraine advocacy sites, forums, and online support groups for families with migraine. Visit the American Migraine Foundation site, and download their school lists, forms, and literature regarding migraine awareness, management, and information, which is available from their Migraine Resources and Links page.