Child Friendly Headache Questionnaire
Children can experience debilitating head pain just like adults do, but given their different levels of speech and language, expressing what this pain feels like can be a challenge. Not only that, but the challenge can extend to parents and physicians when trying to interpret the child's symptoms, which is an important task in providing an accurate diagnosis of the head pain. Fortunately, a child friendly headache questionnaire can allow your child to describe headaches in enough detail for you – as a parent – to gauge the frequency and intensity of your child's headaches. It can also be a guide for helping you identify any triggers of your child's headaches or migraines.
Make It Fun And ColourfulKids of virtually any age enjoy participating in an activity if it looks pleasing and fun. So, if you are making up a questionnaire that you want to help your child fill out as an activity to do at home, write or type it up on some colourful paper and be sure to use different sizes of print. On a computer, you can use different fonts and you can insert pictures that you know your child enjoys. All of these may seem like little things, but they can make the activity less of a chore. If you think about the distress that headaches can cause, the last thing your child probably wants is to complete a drab activity that focuses on his or her head pain.
Ask Relevant QuestionsIf you are trying to pinpoint your child's triggers, then ask simple questions that are relevant and use easy language that your child can understand. You might even ask your child to point to where the pain is – in turn, you can then fill in that part of the questionnaire. Have your child try to check the time when a headache occurs and if he or she is old enough, this can be written down. Otherwise, you can pass on the questionnaire to your child's teacher at school, with instructions to fill it out when your child alerts the teacher to his or her head pain. Other questions to ask are:
- Did you sleep ok last night? Do you wake up with a headache?
- Are you getting any foods at lunchtime from friends?
- When your head starts to hurt, does anything else hurt too?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the worst, what is your pain like?
- Is there anything that seems to help the pain and make it go away?
Remember, you need to keep questions simple and easy to understand for your child. Sometimes, a headache questionnaire might be the first step before seeing a doctor. Other times, it may be used to monitor headaches or migraines, identify triggers and keep track of your child's headache patterns.
Drawing A Child's HeadacheA picture can really tell a helpful story when it comes to a child describing head pain. This was found to be particularly true in a study that used images as a means for assessing how children can accurately describe their headache.
In one interesting study, researchers asked children to draw their headache. While some children had been diagnosed with migraines, others were diagnosed with non-migraine headaches. Researchers found that migraine pictures created by the children showed how the headache was the type that pounded and throbbed. Some of these pictures even showed other features of migraines such as an upset tummy, problems with eyes or feeling nauseous. On the other hand, children who did not have migraine headaches failed to show these same aspects. They tended to draw pictures of their headaches with images of a sad face or an object tightening around the forehead.