Dealing with headaches in children

Caring For Our Kids

Headaches are common in children and caused by a variety of reasons. It can be tough to know when a child’s headache is just a passing pain or if it’s something more serious. 

Common causes of headaches include lack of sleep, eye strain stress, sinus infections, a bump to the head, stress, too much caffeine or certain food triggers. Dr. Katy Stordahl with Children’s Hospital there are two common types of sinus headaches: tension and migraine.

Tension headaches are a feeling of squeezing or pressure around the front, sides and back of the head. These headaches aren’t worsened by activity and there is no nausea or vomiting.

Migraine headaches begin with blood vessels in the brain constrict temporarily. A pounding, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, pain worsened by rapid movement, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light are all signs of a migraine, says Stordahl.

To ease the pain of a headache, lie down in a dark, quiet room, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen and place a cool, damp cloth on your child’s head.

You should seek medical care for a headache if it happens more than once a month, doesn’t go away easily, follows a head injury or loss of consciousness or comes with any of the following symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Changes in vision
  • Neck pain or stiffness

For more information, follow these links:

Headaches in Children

Migraines: What a Pain!

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