Headaches in Children, What Should You Know?

Headaches in Children, What Should You Know?
January 15 06:22 2020 by admin Print This Article


Headaches in children are usually nothing too serious and are mostly caused by the same reasons as headaches in adults. The headaches can be of any type like stress-related headaches, migraines and chronic headaches.

But, it is important to consult a doctor if the symptoms don’t fade and increase or become unbearable. Headaches can have serious consequences if they are the result of infections, minor head trauma or high anxiety levels. Usually treatable with over the counter pain killer medication, headaches can decrease in frequency drastically if a good sleep schedule is established in children. 


Symptoms for headaches in children are quite similar to those in adults but are generally less intense. One must also keep in mind that their detection by even the best of paediatricians becomes relatively difficult if the patient is young and unable to describe the pain. The symptoms of the various types of headaches in children are listed below:

  • Migraines are indicated by a dull, throbbing pain in the inside of the head. It increases with exertion and can become increasingly unbearable. It is often accompanied by increased sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can affect infants too. If an infant isn’t able to communicate clearly, but grabs one side of the head in pain, it may be safe to infer that the child is suffering from migraine.
  • Tension headaches can cause neck muscles to tighten in children with non-pulsating pain that is worsened by physical activity. Tension headaches can last anywhere from half an hour to a day.
  • Cluster headaches are very uncommon in children and involve sharp stabbing pain in one side of the head that is quite unendurable.
  • Chronic daily headaches can be caused by minor head trauma, infections or unmonitored use of over the counter pain medication. Be sure to consult a doctor if things get unmanageable.

You should consult a doctor if your child’s headaches become painful enough to awaken him/her from sleep, follow a head injury or are accompanied by fever, stiffness and/or vomiting.


Infections: Sinus infections and infections related to flu are some of the most common reasons for headaches in children.

Head Injuries: If the headache starts after a head injury, it may be due to internal trauma or a concussion. Do not take bumps on the head lightly and be sure to consult a doctor for the same.

Emotional Factors: Issues related to tension and anxiety in children pertaining to peers and/or parents can cause headaches too. Be sure to put them at ease so as to relieve them emotionally as well as physiologically.

Food and Beverages: Excessive caffeine consumption and ingestion of additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) can trigger headaches in children. Be sure you monitor what they eat regularly.


If not due to head injuries and other serious complications, headaches are relatively easy to treat. Over the counter pain medications are considered safe for children and can work wonders instantly.

Also, if children are anxious or stressed out, make sure that they are provided with appropriate psychological counseling for emotional management.

All the best paediatricians concur that headaches can also be easily prevented with a fixed and proper sleep schedule, which limits screen exposure before bed. This disturbance in sleep cycles is one of the main reasons for headaches in children (especially teens).


Kauvery Hospital is globally known for its multidisciplinary services at all its Centers of Excellence, and for its comprehensive, Avant-Grade technology, especially in diagnostics and remedial care in heart diseases, transplantation, vascular and neurosciences medicine. Located in the heart of Trichy (Tennur, Royal Road and Alexandria Road (Cantonment), Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Tirunelveli and Bengaluru, the hospital also renders adult and pediatric trauma care.

Chennai – 044 4000 6000 • Trichy – Cantonment – 0431 4077777 • Trichy – Heartcity – 0431 4003500 • Trichy – Tennur – 0431 4022555 • Hosur – 04344 272727 • Salem – 0427 2677777 • Tirunelveli – 0462 4006000 • Bengaluru – 080 6801 6801

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1 Comment

  1. Krishnan
    June 26, 06:47 #1 Krishnan

    Thanks for elaborating on the headaches in children, which should not be ignored.

    Reply to this comment

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