Types of headaches in children: Though headaches are common in children, they are often not very serious. Children too develop different types of headaches like adults – such as sinus headaches, migraines, headaches due to fever, cold, and flu, and also stress-related tension headaches. Sometimes, children experience headaches due to severe infection, minor head trauma, and high levels of anxiety or stress.
Meet Your Pediatric Neurologist
When your child develops a headache and if it persists (doesn’t go away), then you should pay keen attention to the signs and symptoms of headache in your child. You must consult a headache specialist doctor – preferably an experienced pediatric neurologist if headaches are a routine thing for your child and if they occur frequently and get worse.
In the majority of the cases, headaches in children can be managed by prompt treatment with mild medications involving over-the-counter pain medications and other medicines. Headache management in children also involves making lifestyle changes – predominantly – maintain a routine or regular eating, activity, and sleeping routine.
Symptoms of Headaches in Children
Types of Headaches in children are not different from adults as they too suffer the same sort of types and symptoms of headache. However, their symptoms differ a little bit from adults. For instance, in adults, migraine pain may last for at least four hours or more. In children, the pain may not last as long as in adults.
Making a headache diagnosis by exactly pinpointing the symptoms is often difficult in children. The type of headache in child especially when they are young is difficult to pinpoint, as they cannot describe their symptoms. Headache symptoms in children tend to fall more frequently into certain categories.
Symptoms Associated with Migraine in Children
- Throbbing or pulsating headache
- Pain that gets worse with activity
- Extreme sensitivity to sound and light
- Abdominal pain
Symptoms in Infants are difficult to interpret as they cannot tell what exactly is happening. If something goes wrong with their head they may cry or rock back to indicate pain.
Tension-type headache symptoms in children
In children, this type of headache can cause the following symptoms:
- Headache that gets worse by physical activity.
- Moderate to mild headache with no pulsating pain or both sides
- Headache without nausea or vomiting
- A pressing tightness in the muscles of the head or neck
In young children, tension-type headache symptoms differ: They tend to withdraw from regular activities and play and sleep more than usual. This type of headache can last for more than 35 minutes to several days.
Cluster Headache Symptoms in Children
These types of headaches are mostly uncommon in children who are less than 10 years of age. However, when they occur, they come in five, six, or more episodes. Children may have one headache per day to as many as five to six headaches in a day.
The pain may be stabbing and sharp involving both the sides of the head and lasting for more than 3 to 4 hours.
Cluster headaches in children are associated with agitation, restlessness, runny nose, congestion, and tiredness.
Chronic daily headache
You might have heard doctors talking about chronic headaches or daily headaches. These types of headaches can be either migraines or tension-related headaches if they occur for more than 12 to 15 or more days in a month. Chronic headaches can be due to overuse of pain medications, lack of sleep, a minor head injury or infection. Even excessive use of non-prescription pain-relieving medicines can also cause chronic headaches in children.
For parents – Reading this information is very important
In children – as you know – most of the headaches are not very serious, but you must promptly seek medical help for your child’s headaches, in the following cases:
- If the child wakes up from his or her sleep owing to headache
- Headaches have become a frequent affair and worsen day by day.
- Headaches have changed your child’s personality
- Your child has started developing headaches after a sudden injury or blow to his head.
- Headaches in your child are associated with visual changes, aura and vomiting
- Headaches are associated with stiff neck, pain in the neck and shoulders and fever.
Talk to me if you’re worried or have questions about your child’s headaches or types of headaches in children.