Treat kids' headaches seriously

POSTED: 11:38 AM MST Nov 19, 2012    UPDATED: 09:43 AM MST Dec 05, 2012 
Sick child

By Mary L. Peppers, Pure Matters

"My head hurts." Hearing those words from your child can be alarming, especially if your child has many headaches. But don't assume the worst.

You still should take headaches seriously, especially if the pain is intense and migraines run in your family. Migraines can cause throbbing pain, dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen can ease pain. And tell your health care provider about suspected migraines. Some kids may need preventive prescription drugs.

Tension is most common

Youngsters' most common head pain is a tension headache -- a dull ache that feels like pressure around the head. Tiredness, stress, pressure at home or school, or conflict with parents or friends can trigger such headaches. They may keep coming until the underlying problem is resolved. Meanwhile, don't overuse medicine.

Here are ways to ease pain without drugs:

Call your health care provider promptly if your child's headache follows a head or face injury or accompanies a fever or stiff neck, vomiting, or problems with vision, balance, or coordination. If headaches increase, get worse, or don't go away with medicine, see your provider.

Head off the ache

A headache could mean a child's life is out of balance. Make sure the child gets: