I can imagine that it must be very scary to witness your little one having childhood vertigo, especially while searching for answers. This blog is a discussion of childhood vertigo.
Most Common Known Causes
Five common sources of dizziness in children include:
- Neurological issues
- Ear infections
- Injuries to the head or neck
- Ear malformation
Three less commonly recognized causes of childhood vertigo include:
- Abdominal migraines
- Petit mal seizures
- Vitamin deficiency
Consulting with your pediatrician is important so he or she can perform testing and recommend specialty consultations.
However, I have spoken to many parents who have “seen everybody” and still have no answers. I regret that I cannot give parents individual medical advice unless their child is established as my patient.
So in this blog, I share some thoughts that parents can consider and free helpful resources that I have put together.
My Perspective on Childhood Vertigo
One of the challenges with today’s healthcare system is that most practitioners are “over-specialized” into their own area of expertise within one body system and many do not consider how symptoms can cross over involving multiple body systems. That is why I decided to specialize in one symptom and look at that across all body systems.
It is a different approach, which I call “The Bell Method.”
Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo of Childhood
In my understanding of benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood, the episodes usually resolve on their own and the vertigo attacks typically cease around eight years old. If that is an accurate diagnosis for a mystery case of childhood vertigo, it is good to hope that it will not be lifelong and the child can grow out of it!
Here are some things to know if you think your child has childhood vertigo.
Recognize an Emergency:
Sometimes vertigo indicates a medical emergency. It is important to discuss with your pediatrician when to seek emergency care.
I wrote this blog to help my patients recognize when to seek emergency care:
Resource – Learn more about a How to Recognize a Vertigo Emergency
The important thing when your child is experiencing the vertigo is that your child does not fall or get injured, like getting cuts, scrapes, or breaking a bone. You may even want to have your child wear a helmet during dizzy spells to protect his or her brain.
Home Remedies to Reduce Discomfort from Childhood Vertigo:
Childhood vertigo can cause discomfort. In order to reduce this, you can explore these home remedies that I put together for adults. I am not sure how much children can benefit and you should always be aware of allergies.
I thought I would share some home remedies that my adult patients use to get relief:
Resource – Learn more about Vertigo Home Remedies
I find the association of timing with childhood vertigo spells and teething to be powerful in a lot of cases, and I think that could be considered more closely.
Parents can start a diary or journal format to track the symptoms of teething and vertigo. You can log events of childhood vertigo in paper form, on your laptop, tablet, or on your smartphone.
I describe how to track and report symptoms of vertigo in this blog:
Resource – Learn more about Vertigo Evidence & Analysis
Anti-inflammatory measures during teething
In general, children will naturally experience inflammation in the mouth and gums as the teeth are trying to break through, so I would lean towards dietary modifications that reduce inflammation during those teething episodes.
Specifically these three foods promote inflammation:
I have a popular blog called “The link between the Gut and Vertigo” that you can find here:
Resource – Learn more about The Gut and Vertigo
Sometimes parents can do everything right with regards to seeking appropriate medical care, and still not find the answer to childhood vertigo.
I have these two blogs on “how to find” adequate care in your area:
Resource – Learn more about Finding a Vertigo Doctor in your area.
And why your doctors may struggle to make a diagnosis in cases of dizzy spells
(Hint: This is a specialty within a specialty!)
I encourage you to continue to seek appropriate medical care until you have satisfactory answers, explanations, and treatments in place.
I hope the tools, resources, and thoughts I have shared are able to bring some comfort and hope to parents who are seeking answers about childhood vertigo. My goal is to provide some direction as to your next steps.
I wish you all the best on your parenting journey!
If you have read this blog all the way to the end, I can already tell that you are an excellent parent who really cares about your child. Keep going!
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.