Categorized | Health, Toddler Sickness

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Headache In Children

Children also experience a throbbing pain in the head known as “headache”. Although most cases of headache in children are usually not severe, it is still recommended for parents to be aware of its causes, signs and treatment.



Common diseases such as cold, flu, fever and gastroenteritis are some of the most frequent causes of headache in toddlers. More serious illnesses such as sinusitis, meningitis and other respiratory infections can also cause headache but are normally accompanied by other signs and symptoms.

Head Trauma

Too much bumping and bruising of the head (e.g. if your toddler falls hard on his head) can cause headache. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent internal bleeding.


This type of headache is oftentimes inherited. Migraines are painful and may cause your toddler to have mood swings, vomit, lose his appetite and feel nauseous.

Emotional Factors

Tension headache is often a result of anxiety, depression and stress. For example, a toddler who is starting preschool in a few weeks might experience bouts of headache because he is nervous to go to school.

Foods and Beverages

Certain foods and drinks can cause headache. Nitrate-filled foods such as bacon and hotdog and caffeinated drinks like soda are known to trigger headaches.


Generally, toddlers suffering from headaches experience one or two of these symptoms:

  • Tension on one or both sides of the head that usually last for 30 minutes to several days
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Changes in mood
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sensitivity to light and sound


Adequate Rest

Encourage your toddler to get plenty of sleep as this will help reduce stress. Create a sleep schedule and make sure you stick to it. Sleep is the most powerful tool to treat a headache rather than medications.

Identify The Source

Find out what is bothering your toddler. Does he have a headache because he is exposed to bright lights or too much sun? Is it because he is scared of sleeping alone in his bedroom? Once you know the triggers, you can come up with ways to relieve his mind.


Teach your little one how to relax. Do breathing exercises. Let him listen to calming songs (e.g. classical music and white noise). Sit with your toddler and talk. Read to him. Cuddle. Give your toddler a kiss.


Exercising helps enhance blood flow and boost overall health. Exercising also makes your heart beat at a lower rate which significantly minimizes the occurrence of headaches. Exercise together. It can be as simple as talking a walk around your neighbourhood for 30 minutes, playing tag or running around the park.

Cold Compress

Place an ice pack or a cool washcloth on the sore spot. This effective technique slows blood flow to the head and reduces head pressure.

OTC Medications

Give your toddler an over-the-counter medicine such as children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). Make sure to read instructions carefully to determine the correct dosage for your toddler. If unsure, talk to your pediatrician. Never give your toddler aspirin.

If your toddler’s headache persists, take him to the doctor for further evaluation.

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August 2014
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