Dr . Joe Elser,  Pediatrician, Talks About Headaches and Kids

Wear the Gown. Brought to you by CHI St. Vincent. School has started and for some kids this
is a stressful time of the year. That can have some painful repercussions and
it may be hard to believe, but for some of you watching right now, it was really hard
for Mr. Reading Roadshow himself, THV11’s Craig O’Neil. I read to kids on a regular basis and it’s
tough to think some of these kids get headaches on a regular basis. But they do. I think part of that goes back to thy myth
that children don’t have headaches or that they use headaches to get out of things that
they need to do. That’s Dr. Joe Elser who heads up the pediatric
headache clinic at CHI St. Vincent. Conservatively, 20% of kids have headaches. I think it is probably higher than that. And where do the kids headaches come from? The family tree. If you are predisposed for headaches with
a headache gene, anything that throws your body out of whack, can be a trigger. Bad sleep habits and normal everyday stress
are triggers. It can happen with weather. All ages are affected, but the largest segment
is teens. Once you hit the teenage years, it tends to
be like the adults – it’s a 2 to 1 female to male ratio. But when do you bring a kid into an examining
room like this one? Answer – when the problem interferes with
life. My rule of thumb is, is if you have more than
one or two headaches a week on a consistent basis, it’s time to have the headaches evaluated,
to make sure there’s nothing wrong. But the clinic has a long history of children
who get them more than twice a week. Three fourths of the children we see have
more than one headache a day. And you think kids have headaches every day. Special thanks to Dr. Elser for taking time
to point these things out. It’s his busy time of year. Headaches always increase during school. So, now you know. Everyone I’ve ever seen in the last 32 years
for headaches has been into the eye doctor first thinking vision problems cause headaches,
and it doesn’t. Ok, good to know. If your child gets them, there’s a clinic
waiting on them. Here’s the good news. The fortunate thing with headaches and kids
is, they are almost never something serious.

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