How can I help my child if she gets frequent headaches?

If your child gets frequent headaches (more often than once a month) or headaches that wake her up at night, take her to see a doctor to pinpoint the cause of her headaches. Meanwhile, help her feel better when head pain hits by:
  • having her lie down in a cool, dark, quiet room
  • putting a cool moist cloth on her forehead
  • having her relax by breathing deeply; if she can fall asleep, a nap might help
  • giving her a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, in a dosage that's right for her age and weight; never give a child aspirin, which can cause a serious, sometimes fatal, condition called Reye syndrome.
Diana K. Blythe, MD
Try and figure out what is causing the headache. Is it a vision problem?  Is it stress? Is it migraines? etc. Buy a day calendar from the dollar store and record the headaches for a few weeks. Write down how long they last, time of day, what your child was doing, what made the headache better or worse and any other symptoms that your child had. Bring this headache calendar to your pediatrician. They may be able to figure it out from this information, or they may refer you to a specialist. Until then, try ibuprofen, as long as there is no allergy, a dark, quiet room and a glass of water.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.