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Assessing Children’s Headaches

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If your child complains of a headache, trust your instinct when deciding whether you should take him to the doctor. “Parents know their kids best,” says Beverly L. Brown, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Some children are melodramatic, while others never complain about anything.”

“The most worrisome headaches are the ones that occur upon waking,” continues Brown. “The child has been sleeping all night and should not have a headache first thing in the morning.”

Brown_BeverlyTo assess how serious your child’s headache is pay attention to how your child is acting. If he says he has a headache but continues playing, it is not as serious as a child who is lying on the floor screaming. “Keep a diary to check for triggers. Many headaches are due to vision problems, but migraines can occur in ages 4 and older,” says Brown.

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