Did you know that children experience the same types of headaches that adults do?
Headaches in children fall under the following categories:
- Mixed headache syndrome
- Cluster headaches
- Stress induced headaches
- Chronic non-progressive headaches
- Tension headaches
- Sinus headaches
Some of these headaches in children should not be cause for alarm because they do not necessarily spell doom to your child’s health. However, it is always important to observe the pattern and consistency of the headaches. In addition, it is important to always note down foods and habits that trigger these headaches in your child. If symptoms persist, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Cluster headaches are common in older children and very rare in toddlers. Fatigue, nasal congestion, runny eyes and restlessness normally accompany these headaches. A splitting pain of the headache is common in this type of this headache on the forehead area. This type of headache can be perennial and persistent. In cases of chronic headaches in children, the pain is usually accompanied by tension and it keeps recurring at least every fortnight consistently. This headache is normally precipitated by over dependence on painkillers, a slight head injury or an infection.
Common symptoms for headaches in children
Headaches in childrenare normally characterized by almost the same symptoms as in the case of adults. However, toddlers may resolve to constant crying and rocking since they cannot verbalize their feelings. If a toddler cries abnormally, it is important to seek medical advice from your doctor. In the case of older children, headaches can be characterized by symptoms such as:
- Throbbing pain on the forehead
- Bouts of nausea
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to sound
- Slurred speech
Some types of headaches like tension-type are not necessarily accompanied by severe symptoms. The symptoms are quite mild like non-throbbing pain on the forehead area, no bouts of nausea or vomiting. In addition, this type of headache is not catalyzed by physical activities. In toddlers, tension headaches may be characterized by aloofness, oversleeping or lack of sleep at all. In most cases, this headache can go for half an hour. If it exceeds a day or two, call a doctor and have the child treated.
Treating headaches in children
Most headaches in children are not severe and should not be cause for worry. This means that a mild headache that lasts for a few minutes should not necessarily be reason enough to rush to the doctor. Mild headaches can be treated at home through pain relievers and ample rest since some of them are caused by fatigue and weariness. However, if the headaches are persistent, it is always advisable to seek medical help. So when should a mother seek medical help? When a headache interrupts your child’s normal life; such as sleeping hours, physical activities and appetite, it is time to consult a doctor. Withdrawal and aloofness should also be another reason why you should call your doctor.
Did you know that poor diet and dehydration could cause headaches in children? According to the experts, fizzy drinks and junk food could precipitate a headache in your child. Children who are active in sports are more likely to get dehydrated and hungry than children who are not physically active. It is therefore important to ensure that your child is well fed and hydrated as this is one way to ensure that you keep the headaches at bay. Insufficient sleeping hours for active children can also pose a headache risk. Be strict with the sleeping timetable and ensure that your children are not awake past their sleeping hours. If the symptoms persist, give your doctor a ring and do not be economical with the details pertaining previous medication and diet.
Other reasons to call your doctor include:
- Severe injury to the head
- Perennial vomiting and fever
- Stiff neck and visual blurriness
- Paleness and restlessness in a child
- chronic headaches
- Seizures and mental confusion
Healthy diet to counter headaches in children
A number of things one of them being poor diet triggers headaches in children. Children enjoy snacks and junk food but it is your responsibility as a parent to limit such intake and encourage healthy eating. For starters, ensure that your children are well fed in the morning before they go to school.
Breakfast should be loaded with vitamins and high fiber. Milk and fresh juice should also feature in their diet. A healthy breakfast is important because it gives your child the ability to tackle the day’s activities with the right energy without getting easily overwhelmed. During the midmorning break, the child can have their favorite snack but in small portions. Physically active children should be encouraged to hydrate as often as possible and have a few glucose tablets before and after sports. This is a sure way of countering headaches in children.
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