Headache in the child


A headache is generally referred to as different forms of pain in the head area. Today there are up to 250 different types of headaches. They are among the most common complaints among children and adults in Germany. Every third child of primary school age reports that they regularly suffer from headaches.

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According to the International Headache Society, the causes of headaches are divided into two large groups, the primary and the secondary causes. The former are also called idiopathic causes described in which the exact mechanism yet Not through research uncovered could be. Which includes Cluster headache, migraine and Tension headaches.

To the secondary causes, which also as symptomatic or organic is called the exact cause known. This includes, for example, a headache with a visual defect, Irritation of the meninges as a result of one sunstroke or inflammation and many more. Headaches can also result from intoxication with alcohol or nicotine, or can be caused by medication.

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Child headache due to growth

The cause of headaches in children is often growth. So it can with the Teeth growing pain in the jaw that continues to radiate and is perceived by the child as a headache. It can also grow over time attitude disorders such as holding the head at an angle, which can lead to tension after a while and thus chronic headache cause in children.

Suffer from a headache?

Answer to this 10 questions and find out your cause and the optimal treatment options.
Here it goes directly to Test for headache.

Child headache caused by a tumor

A very rare cause of headaches can be tumors to be in the brain. These lead to one through their growth Lack of space in the brain and thus cause an increase in pressure in the skull. This is especially the case with tumors of the brain stem or the posterior cranial fossa. The perceived headache is often considered diffuse, bilateral and slowly getting stronger (progressive) and often go along nausea, Vomit and others neurological failures, like limitations in the field of view.

Also read our topic: Signs of a brain tumor

Headache in the child caused by a sunstroke

The typical symptoms of a sunstroke are Headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, increased heart rate, restlessness or even impaired consciousness. Unlike a heat stroke, sunstroke is different Body temperature normal. The sunstroke is defined by irritation of the meninges through long exposure to the sun on the head and neck. As a result of the irritated meninges, they become inflamed Risk of brain edema. Children or the elderly are mostly affected by sunstroke.


At the beginning of the diagnosis of headache there is always a detailed questioning of the medical history (anamnese) of the patient. This usually follows one neurological and physical examination, to get to the bottom of the cause of the headache. In most cases, the anamnesis and the description of the headache can be used to narrow down what is the cause. Since the medical history of toddlers and babies is limited to the patient’s anamnesis, this is primarily due to certain behaviors, such as that Avoid noise and light, touching the head or the Ruffling the hair to watch out for. If, despite a precise medical history, no cause can be identified, there are additional diagnostic measures, such as a EEG or a MRI to disposal.

Headache on the forehead

Moderate, dull headache on the forehead or pain that stretches all over the head are the typical characteristics of tension headaches.

It is advisable to examine the mobility of the cervical spine and any pressure pain in the adjacent muscles.

Possible triggers for this type of headache can be muscular tension, stress, medication, sugar-rich diet, gnashing of teeth, lack of sleep, an irregular daily rhythm or changes in the climate.

It is particularly worthwhile here Pain diary with possible trigger factors and to bring it to the doctor for clarification. Also related to the forehead are headaches caused by medication. Especially after taking painkillers for several days Headaches often occur after pain relief is complete.

In children, a noteworthy differential diagnosis for headache is sinusitis. Sinusitis is one Inflammation of the sinuses and usually accompanied by a cold. With this condition, the pain can also spread to the region around the nose and is greatest when the person leans over.

Headache on the temple

An important question in children with a headache is whether a Head impact trauma has taken place. That would explain pain in the temple. Another important reason are Inflammation of the eye or ametropia.

Pain in the temple can occur, especially after heavy eye strain, such as after reading or watching TV. It is also important to clarify whether a child with a headache in the temple region is using the at night Teeth grind. Stress on the jaw often radiates to the temples.

Headache at the back of the head

The way in which children fall means that an accident very often leads to pain in the back of the head. Furthermore, you can tension, Cervical spine deformities and Poor posture cause occipital headache in the child.

If it occurs more frequently, a CT or MRI examination should be carried out and the neck muscles should be stabilized under physiotherapeutic care. Migraines can also occur in children and can affect the back of the head, among other things. It is important to pay attention to accompanying symptoms, such as Aura, visual disturbances, vomiting or dizziness.

More information on this topic: Pain in the back of the head

Suffer from a headache?

Answer to this 10 questions and find out your cause and the optimal treatment options.
Here it goes directly to Test for headache.

When should you see a doctor??

In most cases there is headache in children just as harmless and common as in adults.

However, there are some warning symptoms, at them a doctor should be consulted immediately. Occurs in a child’s headache together with fever or with stiff neck meningitis must be ruled out by the doctor.

Neck stiffness is still difficult to determine in infancy, but older children can use a specific examination to determine whether neck stiffness exists or not.

One is also dangerous Increase in intracranial pressure, which can be manifested by a headache, decreased consciousness and vomiting in the morning. In the case of previous trauma, the child with headache should better be referred to a clinical observation.

Suddenly severe destruction pain, accompanying eye pain and motor impairments are also considered to be potentially dangerous. In the case of these symptoms, it is advisable to clarify them as quickly as possible in order to avoid worse preventable consequences.

If you have a headache longer period at least once a week entering and not letting the child take part in everyday activities is definitely one medical examination required.

Accompanying symptoms

Headaches often appear with accompanying symptoms. If you have a slight headache, this is one general fatigue and a increased sensitivity across from noise. If the headache gets worse, nausea and vomiting can occur, as is the case with a migraine. It is also an occurring photosensitivity (photophobia) not infrequently. With a very severe migraines can even do it Consciousness clouding, sensitivity failures and seh– and hearing impairment come in children. However, these disappear as soon as the migraine attack ends.

Headache in the child with a fever

As a result of a febrile infection, there can often be so-called accompanying headaches, which are also subject to the fluctuations in the fever curve. In addition to severe headaches and high fever, there is also one stiff neck, one that goes beyond normal body aches Meningitis (meningitis) can be excluded quickly, since in case of doubt, early diagnosis is essential.

Read more on the topic: Fever in the toddler such as Fever and headache

Headache in the child with vomiting

There are many causes that can cause vomiting and nausea in addition to headaches. Next bacterial and viral infections can this be the case with a migraine be the case, which usually occurs on one side. In addition, irritation of the meninges through intense solar radiation (sunstroke) can also be accompanied by severe headaches, fatigue and vomiting. Even after one concussion A headache and vomiting are usually the result of a fall or blow. Further diagnostics in the hospital should be done here Cerebral hemorrhage or other injuries can be excluded.

Headache in the child with abdominal pain

A migraine can present itself in many different ways. Many people are not aware that there is one abdominal migraines there is a form of migraine, which often presents itself in children as abdominal pain. The seizure-like symptoms can a few hours to several days last for.

As accompaniments nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or convulsions often occur a headache on. Those affected are often pale. It is again important that comprehensive diagnostics take place, since abdominal migraines are a finding that can only be made if other organic causes have been excluded. Then you can intervene with pain relievers and change migraine-triggering lifestyle habits.

Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that children are often unable to adequately articulate their stress. In some cases there are headaches and abdominal pain Expression of Overload or overwork. If you suspect that this could apply to your child, and also basically as part of the medical examination, a psychosomatic counseling interview would certainly be recommended.

Headache in the child with nosebleeds

It is also not a very rare phenomenon that headache and nosebleed occur together. This can usually happen in children Upper respiratory tract infections in combination with adenomas occurrence.

snores your child at night can do that too irritated nasal mucous membranes with headache during the day. Rare in children, but also possible, is an increased blood pressure that causes both symptoms together. If a child has a frequent headache with nosebleeds, you should consult a doctor and rule out anemia (anemia) or a blood clotting disorder (haemophilia).

Headache in the child with neck stiffness

A side effect of headache that always urges special caution is neck pain.

A child has this symptom constellation and is sometimes still very limp, feverish and tired, a doctor must be consulted immediately. This will open up meningism that can be caused by bacterial or viral meningitis. The physical examination and general condition of the child are indicative for children over two years of age. A lumbar puncture with cerebrospinal fluid removal is then essential for further examination and diagnosis confirmation.

Headache in the child with eye pain

If a child suffers from headache and eye pain, this is probably due in most cases ametropia not adjusted.

The increased strain on the visual system in the brain, especially after reading, watching TV or school lessons, leads to headaches and eye pain without correction. If a child complains of headache and often squeezes his eyes in order to be able to see better, especially after concentration guidance and unusual tasks for the eyes, a visit to the ophthalmologist is advisable.


At the beginning of the therapy of headaches in children stands the non-drug Treatment in the foreground. So can Quiet, Relaxation or deflection often to the disappearance of lcalmed headache to lead.

It is about long lasting or Strength a headache however, medication must be considered. Here above all ibuprofen with a dosage of 10-15 mg per kilogram of body weight and paracetamol with a dosage of 15-20 mg per kilogram of body weight used a maximum of 3 times a day.

In case of severe migraine attacks, in addition to the charming shield (dark, quiet room) often only drug therapy with ibuprofen and paracetamol. The gift of Serotonin antagonists like sumatriptan, is reserved for the doctor. In many cases, a good one prevention (Prophylaxis) prevent the occurrence of headaches. These include adequate food and hydration, enough sleep and movement in the fresh air.

Medicines for headaches in children

If a non-drug therapy with rest, relaxation and adequate food and fluid intake has not helped, children with headache can be given ibuprofen or paracetamol in particular. A dosage of 10-15 mg per kilogram of body weight or 15-20 mg per kg of body weight of the child applies, which can be given a maximum of three times a day with enough distance. A higher dose is not recommended as this hepatotoxic is. In general, you should speak to your family doctor before giving.

This also applies to a migraine, which, after a certain duration and strength, is usually treated with the drug sumatriptan, which however requires a prescription. From the use of aspirin is strongly discouraged in children because it is too strong side effects like the life-threatening Reye’s syndrome can come.

Suffer from a headache?

Answer to this 10 questions and find out your cause and the optimal treatment options.
Here it goes directly to Test for headache.

Home remedies for headaches in children

The simplest home remedy is an adequate intake of water, as headaches are often caused by one water shortage are caused. Furthermore there is many more other home remedies that are used to treat headaches in children. So is often used for peppermint oil advised which also as Tiger balm is known. This oil is rubbed on the child’s temples and has a calming and cooling effect.

This is another valued method Cooling the neck with ice cubes or a wet, cold cloth, as the cold can mask the pain stimuli. Should the headache of one bracing a warm cherry stone pillow on the neck can help to relieve tension in the throat and thus alleviate the headache.

The homeopathic treatment

Taking homeopathic remedies very much depends on the type of headache you experience. The probably best known remedy for headache, which is given especially for pain in the area of ​​the temples, is belladonna. This agent is greatly diluted in the form of globules or drops ingested. Other homeopathic remedies are Gelsemium, Selenium, Ignatia and Glonoinum.


The duration Headaches in children can vary depending on the underlying cause vary widely. So there are forms of headaches that are chronic and can be triggered by types of tension headaches. However, acute migraine attacks or accompanying headaches as a result of an infection can occur relatively quickly, but these often disappear after a day or two.


It is very difficult to formulate a clear prognosis for headaches, because it depends on the type of headache, but also on the general living conditions and the therapy. However, it can be said that most cases of a child’s headache, which have a primary cause, usually disappear after a few hours or a night with a little rest. In migraines, which often manifest themselves in childhood, the symptoms disappear in about a third of the cases when puberty occurs. Only about 30% of adults who suffered from migraines in childhood have pronounced mirgrine symptoms even in adulthood.

Suffer from a headache?

Answer to this 10 questions and find out your cause and the optimal treatment options.
Here it goes directly to Test for headache.

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Christina Cherry
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