Good clinicians will ask many questions when dealing with children suffering from headaches. If older children are able to speak up, they can provide some information about the headache’s severity, duration, and frequency. For younger children who are unable to express their headache symptoms, parents or other caregivers may be able to help. Asking questions about sleep patterns, social stressors and eating and drinking habits is a good way to find out why adolescents and children have headaches.
These are just a few of the many signs that children may have a headache. Many children will quickly forget their headaches and get back to playing. However, they may still complain about it the next day, or the following week. Parents and caregivers will listen to the child’s complaint and ask them routine questions. They may also try to offer emotional comfort or look in the medicine cabinet for pain relief medications. Most parents look out of the corner of their eyes at the child complaining of a headache.
Parents would look for signs of pain, such as unusual quietness, refusal to eat, crying, or hands clutching the head. Parents or caregivers will often place their hands on the forehead or cheek of the child to check for fever if they don’t have one. A headache that occurs with fever usually disappears when the fever is gone. A clinician’s most important function is to obtain information. The clinician may be able to determine the cause of headaches by measuring blood pressure, focusing, and checking eye reflexes.
The most important part of the exam is to determine the cause of the headache. Patients with severe headaches may need to have a second test. The brain-MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, will look for structural abnormalities such as tumors and aneurysms of blood vessels in your brain. Children can be relieved of many headaches by their parents by administering analgesics or pain relief medications such as Tylenol or paracetamol. Children suffering from severe, persistent or severe headaches should consult a doctor.
An experienced clinician should be consulted if a headache keeps someone from sleeping. Some headaches are resistant to common analgesics. Triptans, for example, are a group of drugs that can be used to treat migraine attacks. If a headache is severe and chronic, Cyproheptadine (brandname Periactin), is recommended.
Address and eliminate social stressors at home, school, and work. Get enough sleep every night, at least eight to ten hours. At bedtime, turn off or remove the television, computer and cell phones. Next, don’t use earphones. It is important to avoid caffeine-rich foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, and soda.
Relax your neck and head with these techniques. Plant-based foods are healthy. Keep your headache at bay by staying in a quiet place until it subsides. Keep a journal to record the nature of your headache. The clinician will be able to share the journal with you at your next appointment. Develop a positive self-esteem.