Did you know that like adults, children too can frequently experience headaches? In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Utah Health, about 20% of children aged five years, and 75% of teens get occasional headaches. The study further stated that headaches in children mainly occur due to fatigue, stress, fever, poor eyesight, or sinus infection, and can be easily managed with home remedies and simple treatments.
However, an acute and persistent headache in your child may result from an underlying health condition and require immediate medical attention. But don’t worry, this occurs rarely, and upon quick diagnosis can be treated permanently.
Since your child may not be able to tell the difference between persistent and normal headaches, you must be aware of the symptoms and contact your healthcare provider accordingly. To make things easier for you, we have gathered all the details about headaches in children, including their causes, different types, and home remedies to soothe their pain.
Causes Headaches In Children
It is believed that headaches typically occur due to blood vessel dilation and muscle tightening inside your head. They have also been associated with the changes in the transmission of pain information from the head, neck, and face between the nervous systems. Chronic headaches may occur due to poor or lack of sleep. In rare cases, a headache may also result from conditions like a brain tumour or any other abnormality.
Additionally, factors such as fatigue, stress, a head injury, poor nutrition, or ongoing medication may also increase the risk of headaches in your child.
Types Of Headaches In Children
Headache in kids is divided into the following two groups:
These occur occasionally and are considered harmless. The common causes of primary headaches are blood vessel dilation, muscle tightening, swelling in specific or different parts of the brain, and alteration of pain signals. These headaches can be easily cured and do not indicate an underlying health condition. They are further divided into three different types.
- Tension headaches: These may result from mental conflict and stress. They cause mild pain and are the most common type of headaches experienced by children.
- Cluster headaches: These headaches are less common, and are more frequently seen in teenage boys. Unlike tension headaches, cluster headaches can continue for several days or weeks, and seem to reoccur after every one or two years. Kids are likely to get this type of headache from ten years of age.
- Migraine headaches: These headaches can start as early as ten years in girls and seven years in boys. Children are likely to experience migraine headaches if their family has a history of migraines. However, for girls, this type of headache may also be a sign of menstruation. Migraines can be painful and weakening and can persist for hours or days for some children.
This type of headache rarely occurs in children and may result from an underlying health condition, such as brain abnormality or any other health concerns. Secondary headaches need medical diagnosis and the treatment is decided based on its severity or cause.
Symptoms Of Headaches In Children
The symptoms of headaches in kids differ depending on the type of headache they are experiencing.
Symptoms Experienced In Tension Headaches
- Pain experienced either on both sides of the head or surrounding the head
- Mild pain that develops slowly
- Pain behind the neck
- Pain that impacts your child’s sleep pattern
Symptoms Experienced In Cluster Headaches
- Nasal congestion
- Swelling in the forehead
- Acute headache on either side of the head, or around the eyes
- The affected area most likely appears red and droopy
Symptoms Experienced In Migraine Headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Pulsating pain either on one or both sides of the head
- Discomforts, such as stomach pain
Symptoms Experienced In Secondary Headaches
- Persisting headache from early morning
- Sudden or random pain
- ]Compromised vision
- Headache that worsens with time
- Nausea accompanied by vomiting
5 Remedies Of Headache In Children
Give Them A Soothing Massage
Massaging your child’s shoulders and neck can help release tension and ease their pain. Use a mild oil, such as BabyChakra’s organic coconut oil to massage the specific areas and increase blood flow to reduce headaches. The coconut oil is non-deodorised and natural which helps soothe your little one’s senses and relax them.
Older kids may also try other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, which helps reduce the muscle tightening in their head and relieve headache.
Make Sure Your Child Is Hydrated
Sometimes headaches may result from fatigue and stress. Hence, make sure that your child is well-rested and hydrated too. If they refrain from drinking plain water, you can give them fresh fruit juices and smoothies as well. These drinks will help boost their energy levels and also make them happy too by satiating their sweet cravings.
Keep An Eye On Their Diet
Make sure that your child consumes foods that are rich in magnesium (muscle tension reliever and promoter of a healthy muscle state) such as yogurt, fish, and spinach to prevent headaches. Additionally, a diet enriched with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 can also help your child cope with headaches.
Use Natural Vapor Patches
If your child’s headache is accompanied by cold symptoms and nasal congestion, then you can try using the natural vapour patches from BabyChakra to reduce their discomfort. The vapour patches are formulated with botanical ingredients, such as eucalyptus and peppermint oil that act as a natural decongestant and help reduce headaches and fever. The product is 1005 non-toxic and camphor-free, and all you have to do is stick a patch to your child’s clothes for quick relief from congestion and headaches.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils like chamomile, lavender, or peppermint can be used as aromatherapy for pain relief. It works by acting on the brain’s limbic system that controls emotional and behavioural responses. You can apply the essential oils over your child’s forehead in diluted form.
Headaches in children are quite common and you don’t have to be alarmed if they occasionally complain of one. Try the simple home remedies that we have described above to alleviate their symptoms and ensure that your little one is healthy and stress-free to prevent recurring headaches in the future.
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