Headache in children: why does a headachebaby

Update: October 2018


  • The main causes of headaches 
  • Causes of “non-hazardous” headache
  • Short video about the 7 main causes of headache in children
  • Video Komarovsky “Why a child often complains about the head
  • Diagram of the main causes of headache depending on
  • Causes of headache requiring urgent diagnosis
  • When you can not waste time on home diagnostics
  • Determine the cause of pain on the leading symptom
  • First aid for children with headache

Если у baby болит голова, нужно уделить этому пристальное

  • Во-первых, расспросить о характере и localization боли.
  • Secondly, assess his condition and other complaints that were
    from the beginning or appeared later.
  • Thirdly, it is necessary to analyze his entire schedule during
    weeks – from morning to evening.

The main causes of headaches

The reasons for which there is a headache in children, not less
50. Conventionally, they are divided into 3 types:

Primary cephalgia is the most common symptom in children. Here
include migraine, tension headache, cluster pain. Those.
these are not dangerous causes of pain and are most often caused by overwork,
dehydration, oxygen starvation, malnutrition or hunger and

Secondary cephalgia. They are divided into 8 groups:

  • traumatic nature;
  • diseases of non-vascular structures in the cranial cavity;
  • infectious;
  • caused by various substances medications as well
    termination of their admission;
  • arising from violations of the normal composition of the blood;
  • caused by a disease of the facial and cranial structures;
  • associated with mental disorders.

Neuralgia of the cranial nerves, facial pain, other
cephalgic syndromes.

In order not to overload you with information, we will conduct such
classification. Разделим причины, из-за которых у baby болит
head on the disease:

  • benign that rarely lead to life-threatening
  • urgently needed assistance that may lead to
    serious complications if you do not start the diagnosis within 24-48
  • requiring emergency (in the next few minutes) measures – directly
    life threatening.

Causes of “non-hazardous” headache

Эти заболевания вызывают цефалгию у baby чаще всего. Here

  • migraine;
  • tension headache;
  • cluster headache;
  • cephalgia with intoxication;
  • taking some heart drugs;
  • headache associated with inflammation of the trigeminal nerve;
  • pain caused by transient intoxication (for example,
    inhaling the smell of some flowers, fumes from wood-shaving,
    plastic, carpet products). As a rule, in this case the head
    sore in the forehead.

If a child often complains of a headache that does not
accompanied by a rise in temperature, evaluate the conditions when it

Migraine – это когда головная боль:

  • passes after sleep;
  • develops after the student has not had time to eat in the morning or
    at school;
  • appears after lack of sleep or physical exertion;
  • may develop after eating chocolate, nuts, cheese,
  • occurs “on the weather”;
  • felt in the middle of the head – in the forehead and temple, around
    eyes, may begin in the occipital region, then move on to
    temple and forehead;
  • появляется после an attack слабости, плохого настроения,
    hypersensitivity to sounds and smells, weakness in
    limbs, “flies”, goosebumps, distortion of the shape of objects;
  • coincides with menstruation.

In younger children, migraine develops more often in the afternoon,
при первых an attackх голова болит с двух сторон. After sex
maturation attacks develop in the morning, affect one half

Tension headache – это боль
давящего или сжимающего характера, ощущаемая с двух сторон heads.
Feeling such pain, the child will say that he “seems to be on
put on a head a tight hat or hard hat “. This symptom appears:

  • после чрезмерной нагрузки at school;
  • after a long stay in a stuffy room;
  • after emotional stress, for example, after control;
  • after a long sitting at a table or at a desk in an uncomfortable
  • after a long “communication” with gadgets.

Tension headache не усиливается от физической нагрузки –
only from the mental. Therefore, there is even a separate term “pain 8
September ”: when a child, who had a rest on a vacation, returns to
school, then by the eighth day of increased stress he begins to ache

Кластерная головная боль – это еще один
diagnosis. Its characteristics are as follows:

  • she is strong;
  • felt in one side of the head – always;
  • repeated in the form of attacks lasting 15-180 minutes – not
  • bouts go one after another with a certain frequency (from
    several weeks to several months);
  • after a series of attacks, there is a period of calm;
  • accompanied by anxiety, aggression;
  • at the same time, half of the nose is always embedded or, conversely, from
    nostrils emit a lot of snot;
  • во время an attack выделяется пот на одной стороне лба и
  • red eyes on the side of the headache.

Children who suffer from this type of cephalgia usually have
athletic physique. Doctors say that they have a common
Character trait: indecision when making decisions.

Short video on the causes of headache in children

Video Komarovsky “Why a child often complains about the head

Diagram of the main causes of headache depending on

Головная боль у детей и что делать

Причины головной боли в зависимости от localization. Press 2
times to increase.

Causes of headache requiring urgent diagnosis

Почему у baby часто болит головаHere we will assign such
states like:

  • sinusitis;
  • glaucoma;
  • cervical scoliosis;
  • Arnold Chiari Syndrome;
  • leakage of liquor (liquorrhea) through the nose or ear, when caused
    cephalgia is too low intracranial pressure;
  • idiopathic (due to unknown reasons)
    increased intracranial pressure.
  • See Teenage headaches are not obvious causes of pain.
  • Causes of headaches in the temples.
  • Headache in neck
  • Headache medication

When you can not waste time on home diagnostics

  1. Stroke. Everyone heard that he is now “younger”. It’s true:
    doctors diagnose hemorrhages in the subarachnoid space
    and the blood-staining of brain matter even in infants.
    Sometimes it happens as a result of a head injury, sometimes –
    spontaneously if inside the skull there are incorrectly connected between
    are vessels, and the child is also nervous.
  2. Meningitis. No less terrible diagnoses, accompanied by
    cephalgia are meningitis and encephalitis. And they often do not
    accompanied by some kind of skin rash.
  3. Brain tumors. Quite rare in childhood, but can
    develop a brain tumor. It can grow and squeeze neighboring
    structures, causing a gradual increase in intracranial pressure.
    A tumor can decay – then symptoms appear, not
    differing especially from stroke.
  4. Occlusive hydrocephalus – a condition where the spinal
    fluid cannot normally extend beyond the cranial cavity, and
    fills the ventricles of the brain.
  5. Stratification of the wall of the vertebral or carotid artery.
  6. Vascular diseases: thrombosis of one of the venous sinuses,
    Moya-moya disease, vascular anomalies, vasculitis.
  7. Hypertension, including malignant (when
    pressure is almost not reduced under the influence of drugs).
  8. Hypoxia is a condition where there is not enough oxygen in the blood.
    Acute hypoxia develops on the background of acute pneumonia, poisoning
    tissue poisons (including cyanides), heart disease.
    Chronic – for chronic heart and respiratory diseases,
    heart defects, bronchial asthma.
  9. Hypercapnia – an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood.
    This is possible with carbon monoxide poisoning, bronchostatus (severe
    attack of bronchial asthma), panic attack.
  10. Traumatic brain injury.

All these diseases should be noted as early as possible. And immediately
call a doctor.

Focus on these symptoms:

  • a sharp headache (as if a dagger had been struck) or such
    which is gaining maximum intensity in less than
    a minute;
  • delirium, inadequacy;
  • when the headache and nausea, most often, with an increase
    temperature, usually after a cold;
  • �”Flies” before the eyes;
  • convulsions in the face of headaches that may occur as
    elevated temperature, and without it;
  • drowsiness with headache;
  • unintelligible speech;
  • severe headache: the child lies in a forced posture, not
    shows enthusiasm for offers to play, see
  • face asymmetry;
  • severe hearing or vision impairment;
  • weakness in limbs on one side right up to their
  • the appearance of any rash on the body in combination with a headache;
  • cephalgia on the background of symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, wheezing
    breathing, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, feeling that
    heart “turns over”;
  • headache after a head injury or stress;
  • if the head constantly hurts, the child is without cause
    lost weight;
  • cephalgia increases in a certain position, as well as when coughing,
    straining, sneezing.

Determine the cause of pain on the leading symptom

Select the main symptom, which will give you to understand how
the disease you are most likely to encounter:

No temperature With temperature

In the forehead area

When intoxication. Then it appears on the background:

  • or colds;
  • or (if against the background of complete health) – while being in
    the room where there is chipboard, artificial carpets, plastic products,
    flowers with a pungent smell
Front: begins to ache in the frontal part of a cold or
after her. Cephalgia increases with forward bending

Intracranial hypertension. Very strong bursting
character, gives in whiskey, sometimes – in the eye area

Strengthens after running, somersaults, a long stay on
sun tilts head down

Accompanied by vomiting: first after a meal, medication,
fluid, then arising by itself, without nausea

Headache and eyes hurt


Captures half heads, is located in the forehead and temple,
around the eye, may begin in the occipital region, then
go to the temple and forehead.

Important: the side of the pain changes with seizures. If it always hurts with
on the one hand, exclude a brain tumor!

Sinusitis: frontal, spheno- or ethmoiditis; possible inflammation immediately
multiple sinuses (pansinusitis)

Pain syndrome is especially strong on waking, increases with
bends, shakes his head, blowing his nose

Cluster cephalgia

Strong, always on the same side, accompanied by
anxiety aggression.

Accompanied by nasal congestion or runny nose, sweating.
forehead / face, tearing, redness of the eyes. Lasts 15-180

Influenza, rarely – other ARVI

Accompanied by aching muscles, bones, runny nose

Paroxysmal hemcrania

Pain is localized on the one hand, lasts 2-30
minutes, accompanied by redness of the eyes, nasal congestion on
side pain, sweating of the forehead and face – on the side of cephalgia.

Differs from cluster cephalgia only by short duration.
an attack


This is a severe headache, accompanied by nausea outside of the reception.
food, sometimes – a rash. Occurs mainly after symptoms.

Short-term unilateral neuralgic pains

They have the same symptoms – redness of the eyelid, congestion
nose / runny nose, swelling of the eyelid from the side of pain – as in the cluster
syndrome, and with paroxysmal hemicrania.

Difference from them – all attacks are different in time.

Primary stabbing headache

Characterized by tingling sensations, lasts for several
seconds, it can occur as one injection, or several injections


The child sees poorly what is written on the board. Cephalgia occurs
after a day of hard work at school

Inflammatory diseases of the eye

(iritis, iridocyclitis, herpes zoster in the trigeminal region

Tearing, pain when opening eyes, in connection with which he
constantly trying to close, eyelid swelling


It begins to hurt after a long load of the organ of vision: reading,
watching cartoons

Glaucoma attack

The eye does not just hurt, there is pressure in it. Thereafter
may start cephalalgia, which is accompanied by the appearance
�”Flies”, blurred vision, vomiting, contraction of the heartbeat,

It hurts in the temples

Cluster cephalgia

Purulent otitis

The pain spreads to the ear, from it marked discharge. Pain
shooting, piercing, throbbing

Paroxysmal hemcrania


Pain начиналась в ухе, захватила височную и теменную область.
Lower ear swelling and redness

Tension headache

May be accompanied by pain in the heart, abdomen, joints.
Combined with the appearance of fear, fatigue, sleep disturbance and

Primary stabbing headache

Headache hurts


Pain появляется после стресса, перенапряжения, отрицательных
of emotions

May be accompanied by nausea, tinnitus or head noise
the appearance of “flies” before my eyes

Meningitis, энцефалит

Reduced intracranial pressure

Localized in the vertex and occiput. Strengthens when jumping, coughing,
walking increases during the day

It becomes easier when you lower the head, bending the head
forward, lying without a pillow

Cervical Scoliosis

The head hurts and turns

Basilar migraine

Occurs in girls of older school age. Manifests itself
like throbbing pain with visual impairment, tinnitus,
staggering, goosebumps in the hands and feet, dizziness


Headache is severe, accompanied by nausea. Occurs on
фоне или после colds

Tension headache Any infectious disease with severe intoxication

Headache and nausea

Migraine Any infectious disease accompanied by intoxication:
angina, pneumonia, sinusitis

Abdominal migraine – pulsating paroxysmal pain
midline abdomen. Their intensity is average. Duration – from
1 hour to 3 days. Accompanied by nausea, vomiting

Observed at the age of 5-10 years


In this case, the pain is very strong.

Tension headache

Sore belly and head


Intestinal infection, accompanied by intoxication

Most likely, there should be diarrhea and / or vomiting.

Abdominal migraine

Enteroviral meningitis

It occurs in August-September, most often – after a trip to
sea. May be accompanied by diarrhea.

First aid for children with headache

  • air the room more often;
  • put a sandwich, a cookie and an apple to his school;
  • make sure that he does not sit behind the gadgets;
  • immediately after waking up to do gymnastics, jogging;
  • ensure that he sleeps at least 9 hours a day;
  • be sure to feed it daily with fresh vegetables and

При возникновении an attack воспользуйтесь простым рецептом:
make the child a quiet and darkened room, put a wet
cloth dipped in cold water on the forehead. The child will sleep, and him
it will be easier. Only first make sure that there is no dangerous

What can children with headaches? Single pills
children with a headache is “Ibuprofen” and “Paracetamol”. Nothing
you cannot take another without a doctor’s prescription. Even if you
sure that he has a migraine, drugs with ergot alkaloids without
medical permission to give is very dangerous!

Автор: Кривега Мария Салаватовна врач-реаниматолог

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