Children and Headaches

Children and Headaches

Migraine

Children can begin having migraine headaches at an early age. Migraines in children tend to be shorter than in adults, but are no less painful or frightening to a child, especially if a child experiences an aura.

Prior to puberty, migraines are slightly more prevalent in boys. At puberty, however, more girls begin to experience migraine headaches. Migraine can be a significant problem in adolescence and, in this age group, new daily persistent headache may occur as well. New daily persistent headache starts out as a daily headache.

Other Headache Types

Tension-type headaches also occur in children, and are common in adolescents.

One type of migraine syndrome that occurs primarily in children is abdominal migraine, which usually involves nausea, vomiting, and possible abdominal pain, with or without headache. Children may appear either pale or flushed, and there may be a warning of tiredness or drowsiness.

Posttraumatic headaches are an increasingly common problem in child athletes, who should be carefully evaluated after any head injury, even if it is seemingly minor.

by Christina Peterson, MD

updated Feb 8, 2010