Sending Kids Back to School with Migraines

By Amanda Workman

When summer ends, and it is time for students to go back to school, it can be a stressful time for both parents and children. Attempting to acquire all the school supplies on the massive lists, meeting the teachers, and having the child learn their way around a campus can be a handful all in its own. When a child has health issues, it adds to everybody’s stress levels. The child will worry if other students will make fun of them for having an illness and if the teachers or administrators will treat them differently.

Talk with your Child’s Doctor in Advance

Ask your child’s doctor for a letter of proof describing your child’s migraine condition and their medication and treatment protocol that should be followed. You and the doctor can work together to decide how to approach the school to put a system in place to assist them with making sure your child is properly cared for should they get a migraine during the school day.

Organize a game plan for gym class because we all know running and sweating while having a migraine can make a bad experience even more miserable. I would request documentation from your doctor to give the school personnel so they can see your child’s migraine is a legitimate health issue and what the doctor’s instructions are for caring for you child when they have a migraine.

Meet with Teachers and Administrators

It is very important to meet with your child’s teachers, administrators, and principal so that they are aware of your child’s health concerns in advance. This will help if they are forced to miss days from school. This is the time to make sure everybody is aware your child has migraines and to inform them on average how often they have them. Provide them all with the copies of the information provided by the child’s doctor.

Take the time to answer any questions they may have concerning your child’s migraines. You also take this time to present them with a general fact sheet on migraines or adolescent migraines, simply to give them more insight into what others may possibly be dealing with at an undiagnosed level. At this time I would make sure to find the gym instructor if they were not present and the school nurse as well. The gym teacher needs to understand that there will be days when your child simply cannot participate but they should not be punished when it happens.

The School Nurse

The nurse should be able to store some of your child’s migraine medication in their office for them for when they need it. Some ice packs would also be good in case the school does not have any or just a few. A plan should be created so that they know how long to give your child for the medication to work before they call you to see about you coming to get them. If the nurse is willing and has room, they can leave some water and at Gatorade in the office in case your child need needs them. If it is not an option, pack some in their backpack. It is very important for your kid to stay hydrated.

These are just some of the ways to approach the starting school year if your child is prone to migraines.

Are there any other elements you can think of to make a day at school with migraine easier for a child?

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