Exam time is the most agitating time of the year and if you think the state and university board exams are terrifying enough, think about those kids who also have to undergo the trauma of migraine headaches during exam.

Headaches are among the top five health problems in childhood1, and on top of it if one is expected to study and score good numbers, the stress and pain can get intensified.

Relax, it’s just a test!

Unfortunately, an Indian student never hears this from his teachers, friends, or parents! A good score in the final exam is considered to be the bedrock of a child’s future. Hence, the amount of stress hauled over the child is anything but reasonable. A research paper published in the journal Headache states that children with migraine face difficulties in emanating from emotional stress2. This exhausts their minds to an extent where they find it hard to control their feelings2.

In such cases, relaxation is truly the master key to control stress and exam fear, no matter how difficult it sounds. Constant worrying can convert into a migraine trigger and grappling headache while trying to study can have worst outcomes.

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Read our blog on 6 ways to prevent migraine in children

A parent’s role in calming their child’s nerves –

If your child suffers from migraine headaches, as a parent you need to demonstrate your support and understanding towards your kid. When your child is assured that you are on his side, he will be able to concentrate on the studies much better.

Following are some tips you can follow to make your child’s exam time easier –

1) Firstly stay calm. Your anxiousness and tension can easily spill over onto your child.

2) Encourage and support your child instead of telling him/her off each time for not studying.

3) Give enough relaxation time to your kid.

4) Consult your doctor beforehand and keep all medicines handy.

5) Try not to disturb your child’s daily routine. Do not encourage late night or very early morning study sessions. Ensure all meals are served at the same time and they sleep and wake up at a constant time.

6) Let your child have at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If he or she desires to nap in the afternoon, allow a short one hour nap too.

7) Look out for any sudden change in the behaviour of your child. It could be out of exam fear or pressure. Take appropriate action to lessen the burden.

8) Allow your child to indulge in sports and games every day. Some fresh air will provide their eyes and head much needed refreshment.

9) If your child suffers from very strong bouts of migraine or migraine with aura, it is better to get a medical certificate and request the school authorities/centre to provide help to your child.

Read our blog on Understanding migraine with aura


Exam is important and a good result will carve your child’s future. However it must not come at the cost of your child’s health. If your child suffers from migraine, consult a doctor as migraine is a treatable condition. Keep teachers and school authorities informed about your child’s condition so that they too can offer a helping hand.

If you are a parent nurturing a child with migraine and have additional tips for other parents, please feel free to share it on our Facebook page mewithoutmigraine.

Summary –


Exams are the most agitating time of the year and unfortunately some kids have to endure the trauma of both migraine headaches and exams stress.

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  1. Paediatr Child Health. 2009 Jan; 14(1): 24–30
  2. Headache. 2012 Oct; 52(Suppl 2): 102–106.