As we are heading on to live our lives full of work and busy schedules, attending meetings, preparing presentations, running businesses, we tend to forget about our children’s life and their health. Well, it is never too late to check up on their health conditions. If your child experiences headache, then it is of no surprise because of the increased use of electronic gadgets and screen time, more hours of study to compete in this vast world, replacement of outdoor games with indoor ones which involve a screen, etc. The reasons are many, and so are the solutions. Read on to learn everything you must know about headaches in kids.
What Causes Headache In Kids?
While there are several reasons which can cause headache in kids, here is the list of few of them –
- Infection Or Illness: Cold, flu, sinus and ear infection, etc. are the common types of illness and infection, which can lead to headaches in children.
- Emotional Factors: Anxiety and stress are triggered the most due to peer pressure, parents, or teachers. In some cases, the child may also suffer from depression and fail to recognize loneliness and sadness emotions. So, you must talk to your child about his/her health and mental conditions.
- Head Trauma: Injuries like bumps or bruises may also be the cause of headaches in kids. If the pain is severe, consult a doctor immediately to avoid any mishaps.
- Genetic Predisposition: Migraines are a type of headache that continues to flow in future generations if it is present in the family.
- Brain Problems: Bleeding in the brain or brain tumor are a few rare cases of chronic headache causes, which are accompanied by other symptoms as well.
- Consumption Of Certain Beverages And Food: MSG, nitrates, caffeine, etc. can trigger the symptoms of headache in children.
Types Of Headache In Children
There are broadly four types of categories of headache in children –
- Migraines: Migraines can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, exertion pain, pulsating head pain, extreme light, and sound sensitivity, etc. It can also occur in infants.
- Tension-type headache: It can cause tightness in head or neck muscles, headache, head pain not with vomiting or nausea, unlike in migraines, etc. Children tend to sleep more in such a type of headache, which can last from half an hour to even several days.
- Cluster Headache: It usually occurs in children of the age group of more than ten years. It occurs in groups/clusters of five or more episodes involving sharp stabbing pain in the head. Other symptoms are weariness, runny nose, congestion, agitation, or restlessness.
- Chronic Daily Headache: As the name suggests, it stays for more than 15 days in a month. CDH is the common term used by doctors for tension-type headaches or migraines.
What Are The Symptoms Of Headache In Children?
The symptoms of headache in children include the following –
- Symptoms similar to headaches experienced by adults
- Fewer but frequent duration of headache as compared to ones suffered by adults
- Sometimes, it may get difficult to diagnose any symptoms for headache especially in the case of infants
- Certain categorized symptoms, however, can help in proper treatment and medications.
When Should I Take My Child To A Doctor In Case Of Headache?
Usually, many of the types of headaches are not severe and can be treated at home, but in chronic cases, you must seek immediate medical care. If headaches are:
- Waking Your Child From Sleep,
- Becoming More Frequent,
- Affects The Child’s Behavior,
- Followed Due To Major Injury,
- Triggers Vomiting
- Accompanied By Neck Pain, Fever Or Stiffness
Then, it is time to consult a doctor and get prompt treatment for faster recovery.
When Should You Be Concerned About A Headache In Kid?
Apart from the circumstances as mentioned above, you must also keep in mind a few risk factors to be less concerned about a headache in children. These include the puberty stage of girls, children with a family history of headaches or migraines, older teens, etc. need attention when they experience any form of headache.
How To Treat Headache In Kids?
More often, your child’s headache can be treated in the home itself. Plenty of rest, diminishing noise, and bright lights, giving lots of fluid and a healthy diet, will help to alleviate headaches in children. It is important to consult the doctor before giving any OTC medicines for the headache to the child.
The headaches in children may have some particular pattern. The doctor will fix a treatment after considering some factors such as
- Severity Of Pain
- Possible Triggers.
Here are some of the treatment options for headache in children:
- Practicing Health Behaviors: Actions that promote healthy behaviors among kids and also the elder ones, like proper sleep, positivity, physical activities, healthy diet, hydrated, etc. are highly beneficial to prevent headaches.
- Stress Busters: Do not take unnecessary stress of any kind, and even if you do have, include few stress busters to get relief from unwanted tensions.
- Maintain A Headache Diary: Keep a record of your child’s headache to check the frequency and take further preventive measures to cure the same.
- Avoid Headache Triggers: Avoid the factors that trigger a headache in the child. For some kids, it is food; for some, it is sound or bright light or hot atmosphere. Also, properly follow the doctor’s plan for effective results.
- Medication: Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can effectively help to relieve a headache in children. Triptans, prescription drugs can effectively treat migraines. All these medicines are safe for use if the child is older than six years.
Point To Remember
Any medicines should be given to the child after consulting a medical practitioner. Also, never overuse medicines. Try it only if all the home remedial measures do not work. Overmedication itself contributes to headaches. Also, as time passes, painkillers and other medications will turn less effective. Besides, all medications have their share of side effects.
Some Final Words
After knowing the symptoms, causes, and treatment, you are now ready to fight against headaches in kids along with your kids themselves. And if you are a kid, then this is the best guiding source to counter your headache and win over it. So, take due care of yourselves and the family because health is more before anything else.