Headaches and Migrane; Symptoms and Causes


Child’s is more likely to develop in the late afternoon.

Also, migraine pain in children may last less than four hours, whereas in adults, migraines last at least four hours


Migraines can cause:

  • Pulsating, throbbing or pounding head pain
  • Pain that worsens with exertion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound

Even infants can have migraines. A child who’s too young to tell you what’s wrong may cry and hold his or her head to indicate severe pain.

Tension-type headache

  • A pressing tightness in the muscles of the head or neck
  • Mild to moderate, nonpulsating pain on both sides of the head
  • Headache that’s not accompanied by nausea or vomiting, as is often the case with migraine
  • Younger children may withdraw from regular play and want to sleep more.
  • Tension-type headaches can last from 30 minutes to several days.

Cluster headache

Cluster headaches are uncommon in children under 12 years of age. They usually:

  • Groups of five or more episodes, ranging from one headache every other day to eight a day
  • Involve sharp, stabbing pain on one side
  • Are accompanied by teariness, congestion, runny nose, or restlessness or agitation

Chronic daily headache

  • more than 15 days a month for more than three months
  • infection, minor head injury or taking pain medications.

When to see a doctor

  • Wake your child from sleep
  • Worsen or become more frequent
  • Change your child’s personality
  • Follow an injury, such as a blow to the head to
  • Are accompanied by fever and neck pain or stiffness
  • neurological symptoms such as loss ofvision, speech problems, or muscle weakness, they can be the sign of a more serious problem

The American Headache Society recommends using “SSNOOP”, a mnemonic to remember the red flags for identifying a secondary headache:

  • Systemic symptoms (fever or weight loss)
  • Systemic disease (HIV infection, malignancy)
  • Neurologic symptoms or signs
  • Onset sudden (thunderclap headache)
  • Onset after age 40 years
  • Previous headache history (first, worst, or different headache)


  • Illness and infection. colds, flu, and ear and sinus infections ,meningitis or encephalitis
  • Head trauma.Bumps and bruises can cause headaches.
  • Emotional factors.Stress and anxiety . Children with depression may complain of headaches.
  • Genetic predisposition. migraines, tend to run in families.
  • Problems in the brain.Rarely, brain tumor or abscess or bleeding in the brain.

Migraine headaches may be precipitated by a variety of factors called “triggers”:

  • Hunger (missed meals)
  • Drinking alcohol (especially red wine)
  • Eating foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG), or that are high in caffeine (coffee, tea, colas) or nitrates and nitrites (preserved meats), or contain tyramine (aged cheeses)
  • Menstruation or oral contraception use
  • Getting too little or too much sleep
  • Stress in your work and personal life
  • Factors in the environment, such as glaring lights, strong smells, weather changes or high altitude