Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pediatric Migraines

It was thought at one time that children could not have migraines and that the typical age for migraines to begin was 17.  Children, even young children, can have and do have migraines.  Children who have migraines have usually inherited the tendency from their parents.  These headaches may appear in about one quarter of these children by age five and about half before the age of 20.  Before puberty boys are slightly more likely than girls to get migraines.  After puberty migraines are more common in girls because of hormone changes.

Migraines will cause throbbing pain and are nearly always accompanied by nausea and vomiting.  Pain may be on both sides of the head.  Abdominal migraines, a variant of migraines, often occurs in children.  The “stomachache” and nausea is usually relieved by a nap.  However, migraine in a child may be as short as one hour or can last a day or so.  Children with abdominal migraines usually develop “typical” migraines as adults.

Triggers for migraines must be identified to reduce the frequency and intensity of the headaches.  Regular routines for eating, exercise, and sleeping must remain constant throughout the year.  For some children relaxation and stress management techniques are helpful as is biofeedback.  There are some medications that do help.  Analgesics may help with the pain.  Triptans approved for children may abort migraines.  As with any technique, some methods are helpful for childhood migraines; others are not.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Sexting is sending and receiving sexually explicit messages, usually between mobile phones.  Sexting is a term for which the words sex and texting are combined.  Usually a message and images are sent.  A photo can be forwarded in a matter of seconds.  Sexting takes place all over the world.  It is estimated that 88% of self-made explicit images are “stolen” from their original upload location and made available on other websites, in particular porn sites collecting sexual images of children and young people.  Sexting is illegal, and according to laws, it usually does not matter whether the explicit photos were shared voluntarily.  Teenagers who have unlimited text messaging plans are more likely to receive sexually suggestive texts.

Most laws that would apply to texting were written before the advent of smartphones.  At least 20 states have updated their laws since 2009 to account for youth sexting.  While coercion and unauthorized image-sharing should be punished, teenagers willingly exchanging nude images should be handled differently.  Many of the newer laws still prohibit teen sexting, but have reduced penalties.  Teens need to be aware of the dangers of sexting.  Sexting can result in humiliation and ostracism, but most teens are not aware it can have legal consequences.  The majority of them do not realize sexting could be considered as a crime.  Parents and the school sex education classes should explain to teens why someone would not and should not want to share nude photos.  Teen or underage sexting can violate some child pornography laws.  An affirmative defense may not be available if sexting was done without consent.