Headaches are common problem in children. Kids have migraine headaches from four to ten percent. Infection, high levels of stress or anxiety and minor head trauma cause headaches. Most of these headaches are not serious but mild one . The problem of headaches often run in family. There are two types of headaches primary and secondary. Primary occur on its own like migraine, tension, cluster but secondary may be due to some condition like head injury, blood vessel problem, medication side effects, infections in head, sinus and tumor.
Causes of headaches in children
- Tension, muscle contraction and stress may cause headache.
- Upper respiratory infections related problem like common cold, flu, sore throat and sinus.
- Poor eyesight creates headache.
- Brain tumor increases headaches, child feel severe pain in the head.
- Central nervous system infection affect child with fever, stiff neck, vomiting, irritability lethargy, seizures, poor appetite, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate.
Headache symptoms in children
Aches may start in the back of the head, upper neck and feeling of band like pressure or tightness. More intense pain around eyebrows seem encircling the head. Mild pain is usually felt on both sides of the head. Some times aches may occur sporadically or frequently. Normal headache may get relieved after taking some rest or sleep.
Let the child take rest in a dark or quiet room and place a cool wet cloth on the head. Migraine affected child, give him or her medication immediately. Biofeedback and stress management techniques are followed in the children up to eight years of age. Keep headache diary to treat child accordingly.
Pediatrician must be consulted before giving any medicine to the child. Oral analgesics and antiemetic are effective preventive medications to control even nausea and vomiting. Liquid ibuprofen is also effective to relieve severe pain. Phenergan tablet or syrup, an antiemetic, be given thrice daily after consulting the doctor.Asprin and paracetamol are considered safe for children to relieve pain. Avoid caffeine for kids.
Make child to drink four to eight glasses of water daily. Keep sugar and sodium levels at normal. Sports drink may give relief. Avoid overexertion and fatigue that increase headaches. Proper sleep of eight to ten hours for children is must. Eat balanced diet at regular intervals and never skip meals. Keep relaxed by avoiding stressful schedules or upsetting situations. Always follow prescription of doctors.
Develop healthy life style and habits in children like keeping physically active, eating healthy meals and snacks and avoiding caffeine. Try to reduce stress of child like anxiety of school and depression of loneliness. Keep headaches diary and preventive medications to avoid complications later on. Fatty foods, chocolate, cheese, hot dogs and processed meats should be kept away from the child to prevent unusual headaches.