As a mom, dad, or guardian, nothing is more important than ensuring your little ones are happy and healthy. When they repeatedly complain about headaches, it's natural to be worried.
Headaches in children are common; while some are fleeting, some are pesky. Differentiating between a routine issue and something more concerning is crucial.
Dr. Henry Hasson, a renowned pediatric neurologist in Brooklyn, New York, knows all about this. He has helped countless children and their families deal with headaches and understand what's causing them.
In this article, he lays out what you need to know about your child's frequent headaches and what steps you can take to address them.
Understanding headaches in children
Kids can have headaches just like adults. Sometimes, they might get a regular old headache because they're tired, thirsty, or they just had a long day. But, at other times, they might have a more severe headache like a migraine or cluster headache.
Sometimes, a simple headache could indicate an underlying health issue. Understanding the type and cause of your child's headaches is the first step toward addressing the problem.
Recognizing the frequency and patterns
If your child experiences headaches occasionally, it may not be a cause for concern. However, if the headaches become frequent or more intense, it's time to take notice. Keep a log of when the headaches occur, their duration, and any accompanying symptoms. This information is essential in helping Dr. Hasson to diagnose and address the issue effectively.
Warning signs and symptoms
The following signs should prompt you to bring your child in for a consultation:
- Increase in frequency or intensity of headaches
- Vomiting or nausea accompanying the headaches
- Sensitivity to light or sound when they have a headache
- Headaches that wake them up from sleep
- Recent head injury followed by headaches
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Changes in personality or behavior during headaches
- Headaches accompanied by high fever, a rash, or a stiff neck
If you observe any warning signs, seeing Dr. Hasson as soon as possible is crucial. He'll take a detailed history, examine your child, and may suggest diagnostic tests like blood tests or brain scans to pinpoint the cause of the headaches.
The treatment for your child's headaches will depend on the underlying cause. Lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques can be helpful for tension headaches due to stress.
If your child is diagnosed with migraines, medication might be prescribed. Sometimes, using glasses or addressing sinus issues can help resolve headaches.
Preventing future headaches
Helping your child maintain a balanced lifestyle is vital in preventing headaches. Ensure they have a regular sleep schedule, eat balanced meals, stay hydrated, and have time for physical activity. Managing stress and regular eye checkups are also important.
Understanding and support also go a long way. When your child is experiencing a headache, be empathetic. Encourage them to communicate how they feel. If headaches affect their school life, speak with their teachers to ensure they are supported in the educational environment.
Navigating your child's health can be complex, but knowing when to be concerned about headaches is vital. By understanding the warning signs and knowing when to seek professional advice, you can ensure your child receives the necessary care.
For expertise and compassionate care in managing your child's health, schedule an appointment with us online or call 718-785-9828 today.