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How Can You Help Your Child with Different Types of Headaches?

Children are not immune, like adult, from suffering with headaches. Study shows that 20% of children are susceptible to have headache due to tension while another 5% are vulnerable to migraines. Being a parent it’s worse feeling helpless for your child having headache. Read to learn different types of headaches children experience and their symptoms. Find out the effective prevention methods and when to consult a neurologist.

Different types of headaches in children


(1) Headache due to Acute Illness

This is very common among children and is usually experienced while suffering from diseases like common cold, flu, ear and throat infections.

(2) Tension Headache

These headaches are experienced usually as a result of stress, eye strain, neck or back pain due to bad posture. It can last from 30 mins to many days. Usually these type of headaches stay constant during physical activity.

(3) Migraines

70% of the children having migraines are hereditary. They usually have a parent or sibling who suffers with the condition. Some of the common symptoms and triggers are as below:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Sensitivity to sounds and lights
  • Pain that increases with physical activity

Known migraine triggers

  • Bright light
  • Exhaustion
  • Weather changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lengthy sun exposure

When to see a Neurologist?

Seek immediate medical attention if you observe any of the following symptoms in your child during a headache:

  • Vomiting
  • Reduced vision
  • Pain that wakes them from sleep
  • Pain in the back of the head
  • Weakness of muscles

During examination, neurologist shall ask detailed questions about your child’s symptoms like kind of specific pain and duration. It’s important that your child answers those questions as accurately as possible for perfect diagnosis. Consultant may advise a CT scan or MRI test for detailed diagnostic information.

How can you help your child?

After diagnosis by neurologist, make sure you stick to the treatment plan properly, especially point out the triggers that cause headache such as poor sleep, inappropriate meals, caffeine or stress.

For tension related headaches you may try:

  • Hot showers
  • Elevating head slightly while sleeping
  • Warm compresses on the neck or forehead

For migraines, you may try:

  • Applying a hot or cold compress to the forehead
  • Lying down in a quiet room
  • Giving over-the-counter pain relievers

Other traditional treatments and natural remedies include a gentle massage, consuming vitamin B2 supplements and foods that are rich in magnesium such as leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, etc.

Dr. Vishal Jogi

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