Alphabetic Guide to Child Care - Headaches


Children get headaches just as adults do. The difficulty in diagnosing and treating them comes from the different symptoms that children experience. It is believed that up to 10 percent of preadolescents suffer from migraine headaches.

Symptoms of headaches in children include aggression, agitation, vomiting, nausea, visual problems, insomnia, and profuse sweating. Causes are the same as they are in adults: tension, stress, eye strain, migraine, or emotional or physical problems. For a child experiencing frequent or severe headaches, a physician should be consulted to eliminate the possibility of an underlying physical disorder, such as near or farsightedness. Once the doctor has determined that no physical disorder exists, treatment of the psychological cause should be considered. Undue pressure from home or the school can create as much stress on a child as an adult experiences in the workplace.

Medication of children should be taken only under the supervision of a qualified doctor. Children respond to certain medications much differently than adults, and care must be taken in administering the types and quantities of drugs. Also treatment of any child with aspirin should be supervised because of the risk of Reye's Syndrome.

Diagnosis and treatment of children with headaches is difficult. Parents should continue to seek treatment for their children until they are satisfied that the problem has been addressed and is being remedied.

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