Conditions

Headaches In Children: What To Know About Recurring Pain

Headache is a common condition that affects both children and adults. Kids become more likely to experience pain in their head as they get older. 

Kindergartners have nearly 5 percent chance of having a headache and the risk could climb to more than 25 percent when they reach the end of high school, according to Claire McCarthy, a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital. 

“By the time they reach 18, essentially all kids will have had at least one,” she said in an article posted on Harvard Health Blog. “Migraine and tension headaches are the two most common primary headaches in children.”

Migraines cause pain on both sides of the head. Moving, light and noise can make the condition worse and lead to nausea or vomiting in children. 

This type of headache could also cause an “aura” in children. Before they start feeling the pain, kids may have changes in their vision, like blind spots or sparkling lights, as well as weakness or tingling.

Tension headache is another condition that could affect children’s activities during the day. Unlike migraine, it does not cause throbbing and nausea, and is difficult to point where the pain is occurring. 

Headaches can be recurring in some kids. They may have this condition because of family history. 

There are two types of recurrent headaches. Primary headache is directly linked to the nervous system, while secondary headaches occur due to another condition or illness affecting the nervous system.

Children commonly experience secondary headaches due to a bad cold or flu. It can also be a side effect of medicines or the result of a concussion.

“Kids can also get headaches from taking over-the-counter pain medications too often — more than three or so times a week — which many parents don’t realize,” McCarthy, who is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, said. “There are more serious causes of secondary headaches, like high blood pressure, tumors, or increased pressure on or bleeding in the brain, but those are very rare.”

How To Prevent Children’s Recurrent Headaches

  • Get enough sleep 
  • Daily exercise
  • Eat on time
  • Stay hydrated
  • Reduce stress

When your kid already has headache, taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce the pain. However, it is important to see a doctor when it becomes a recurrent headache to provide a safe and tailored treatment. Taking pain relievers frequently may have some side effects. 

Kids Headache Kindergartners have nearly 5 percent chance of having a headache and the risk could climb to more than 25 percent when they reach the end of high school. Pixabay

Loading...
Join the Discussion