Download: Kiel headache calendar for children

Even small children can often be affected by migraines and headaches. However, the symptoms often look different than in adults. They are therefore often overlooked and ignored. Adults can easily describe and communicate the symptoms using their vocabulary. Children often lack a concept for the unknown painful sensations inside their heads. The signs of migraines are subtle. Children quickly get sick while driving. You feel dizzy. Nausea and abdominal pain occur. You feel uncomfortable. A connection between these symptoms and migraine disease is often not seen. Young children are not yet able to express pain through words, to localize it and to communicate it. You say stomach ache, but you mean migraine. You cannot state that there is hypersensitivity to smell, noise and light. Instead, they retreat. During this time they live alone in their inner world. You have to endure the migraine quarantine again and again. And yet they didn't do anything.

We speak of migraine precursors because the characteristics of migraine in small children are usually different than in adults. In infancy, migraine precursors can be observed from the outside, for example through periodic torticollis. Children tilt their heads to the side for a short time. Migraine precursors also include recurring stomach ache and colic in small children. They are pale and pale, writhing and whimpering. They become quiet and turn away from the world for a while. Migraine precursors occur as cyclical, sometimes long-lasting vomiting. Or as sudden dizziness and circulatory problems. These symptoms are often found between the ages of two and five. Many young children also experience phases of derealization. You don't notice the outside world, you are in a completely different world. In the form of the Alice in Wonderland syndrome, they experience perceptions changed, the things they see become deformed. Feelings in the body become distorted. So children feel a very tight waist. Arms or legs can extend like a telescopic antenna. Color perception varies, colors deepen and distort. Visual disturbances in the form of glittering and sparkling stars, zigzag lines and kaleidoscopic color mixtures gradually spread across the visual field. The earlier you recognize such symptoms, the better you can teach children to adapt the behavior that triggers migraine attacks.

A mental and physical balance is particularly important for children. Anything too fast, anything too many, anything too sudden, anything irregular and excessive should be avoided in your daily routine. A regulated daily rhythm, meals at fixed times, breaks and relaxation phases should have fixed places in the daily routine.

Eva Ernst copied this health-promoting behavior from the animals in an enchanting story and translated it into understandable images. Prof. Dr. Hartmut Göbel provided them with scientific advice and wrote an extensive advice section for the joint book. It will be published in summer 2020. Every child should know these basic rules for a healthy, active and creative nervous system. By the way, these rules also apply to adults. We civilized people should relearn and imitate what nature has prescribed and preserved as health-preserving behavior in the animal world. This is the basis for preventing migraines and headaches. In a final chapter, the basics of migraine prevention are explained. The booklet's advice will help children and adults to keep their active nervous system in balance.

For the book, the authors developed a new headache calendar for children. You can already download it here.