Headaches in children are common and are not very serious. Children can develop different kinds of headaches that include tension headaches due to stress, migraine and chronic daily headaches. Sometimes the headaches are due to high levels of stress or anxiety, infections and minor trauma to the head.
Symptoms of children’s headache
- Migraine pain usually last less than four hours
- Pain that becomes severe when performing exercises
- Pulsating, throbbing or pounding pain in the head
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe sensitivity to light
- Abdominal pain
- Pressing tightness in the muscles of the head or neck
- Illness and infections such as flu, cold and ear and sinus infections. Serious infections such as encephalitis or meningitis with fever and stiff neck can also cause headache.
- Head trauma such as bruises and bumps
- Stress and anxiety due to problems with peers, parents and teachers
- Headaches especially migraines tends to run in families
- Certain foods such bologna, bacon and hot dogs that contains nitrates can cause headaches. Caffeine found in soda, tea, chocolates and coffees can also cause headaches.
- A brain tumor, abscess or bleeding in brain can result to pressing the regions of the brain and cause chronic and severe headache.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter medications to lessen the headaches. Avoid giving aspirin to children to prevent development of Reye’s syndrome which cause swelling in the liver and the brain.
- Apply cold compress to lessen the pain due to headache. Soak a clean wash cloth in cold water. Wring out excess water and then place it on the forehead of the child.
- Let the child eat a healthy snack such as fruits and vegetables to lessen the symptoms of headache. Snacks such as watermelon, spinach or cherries are good for the child. Another alternative is crackers with peanut butter with a glass of milk also lessen the headaches.
- Give the child plenty of rest. Toddlers and Pre-schoolers need at least 11-13 hours, children 6-13 needs 9-11 hours of sleep. Sleep in a cool and dark room. While lying in bed, stretch and relax different parts of the child’s body to lessen the pain reduce the frequency of the headache. Another alternative is taking a hot baths or showers to lessen the stress of the child. Set a bedtime for the affected child. The child should get up around the same time every day.
- Take a break from activities such as long periods of time in front of the computer or television screen.
- Drink plenty of water at least 4 eight ounce of glasses of water every day to prevent dehydration. Avoid drinking caffeinated and sugary beverages to prevent making the condition worse.