Headache is quite a common complaint we see in children. Most of the time, it is transient and gets better within few days. Sometimes, it can be chronic and cause concern in parents and General Practitioners alike.

Some of the common causes are:

– Dehydration
– Looking at a screen for too long up close
– Stress (Yes, children can get stressed as well!)
– Vision problems
– Sinusitis (Fluid in your sinuses in head)
– Viral infection
– Migraine
– Trauma

The most common reason why parents and professionals get worried is suspicion of brain tumour. Fortunately, it is a rare cause and there can be other symptoms like vomiting, waking up at night with headache, weight loss, lethargy etc. with brain tumours.

Most headaches will get better without any intervention but some like Sinusitis may need medical attention.

Children are advised to drink plenty of water, not to watch too much TV or Computer Games and avoiding precipitating factors like fizzy drinks, cheese, chocolate etc. If severe, pain killers like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen could be used in adequate dosing (See the doses page).

If worried, consult your GP and keep a diary of headaches with the associated events and food consumed in the last 24-48 hours.