What causes childhood headaches?
Italian researchers reported that stress factors were responsible for headaches and migraines in children.
Nowadays, every other child is familiar with the painful condition. In teens between 11 and 18 years of age, migraine affects 7% of boys and 12% of girls.
Researchers studied the headaches and migraine history of 125 children and teenagers. Among those children for whom stress played a role as trigger factor, 78% was attributed to school related stress: among the essential elements, that included academic stress, exhaustive reading assignments and homework, exams, fear of failure but also bullying in the classroom.
In second place, involving 68% of the cases, sleep deprivation was identified as a trigger factor - caused by nightly television, computer games or use of social networking. Other stress factors causing pain were family stress (25%), travelling (20%), extracurricular activities such as sport (20%), environmental factors such as weather changes or noise (10%) or stressful life events such as the illness or death of someone close (10%).
Researchers also found other symptoms that were caused by stress, such as stomach aches, nightmares or trouble concentrating.