Eight things to look for when your child has a headache.
Headaches are common, even for children. Most of the time, a simple headache is not concerning. Minor illnesses, a bump to the head, lack of sleep, not eating, not drinking, or stress cause the majority of headaches. Although most headaches are minor and non-concerning, pediatrician Dr. Claire McCarthy wants parents and caregivers to watch for these 8 things when your child has a headache.
1. When A Child Has a Fever, Stiff Neck, And Headache
These symptoms are concerning because they could be an indication of meningitis. If your child has these symptoms, seek medical care right away.
2. When the Headache Pain Is Severe and Isn’t Helped by Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
Common treatments for a headache are rest and medication. Always confirm the pediatric dosages when giving your child medication. Adult dosages are not safe for small children and could be life-threatening. If your child’s headache pain is severe and is not relieved by rest and medication, call your healthcare provider or make an appointment to have them checked out.
3. When A Child Has Frequent or Persistent Vomiting And A Headache
This combination of symptoms could just be a virus but if you are concerned you should call your child’s healthcare provider. These are also signs of pressure on the brain.
4. When A Child Has a Headache and Is Unusually Sleepy or Has Trouble Walking, Talking, or Doing Normal Activities
Just as with number 3, this combination of symptoms could be a virus or other illness but if you are concerned you should reach out to your child’s healthcare provider.
5. When A Headache Wakes Your Child from Sleeping
It is normal to wake up and realize you have a headache but if the pain of the headache is waking your child up from sleep this is unusual. Call your child’s healthcare provider if this is occurring.
6. When A Headache Is Worse Lying Down
Most headaches get better as time passes. If your child’s headache continues to get worse as time goes on or gets worse while lying down to rest, reach out to your child’s healthcare provider. This could be an indication of pressure on the brain.
7. When the Headaches Are Frequent or Interfering with Daily Life
If your child has headaches two or more times a week, or the headaches are interfering with their normal life then it is worth a visit to the doctor. It may not be anything serious but it is worth discussing with their healthcare provider.
8. When You Are Concerned
You know your child best. If something just doesn’t seem right and you are concerned, reach out to discuss your concerns with their healthcare provider.
This article is based on an article originally published by Harvard Health Publishing, click here to read the original article.
- McCarthy, C. (2022, March 16). 8 things to watch for when your child has a headache. Harvard Health. Retrieved March 10, 2023
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