Why do Children Have Headaches?
A headache is a continuous pain brought on by over activity in the sensitive structures in the head. While in adults, headaches can occur early in the morning, in children, they manifest late in the afternoon. Also, headaches in children can last up to four hours but in adults they last for at least four hours.
Some of the common causes of headaches in children include fever or illness, inflamed sinuses, toothache and stress on the eyes, such as over exposure to the glare from TV or computer screens.
Young children need special care and attention when they suffer from such a condition because they cannot describe symptoms and you, as a parent, will need to infer from observable behavior.
Some common symptoms that your child may be sick or suffering are prolonged inactivity, lack of enthusiasm for play, a runny nose, stiffness and high temperature.
Here are some of the ways to treat headaches in children.
• Make your child lie down in a quiet and dimly lit room. This makes the child feel relaxed and soothed, as the atmosphere is one they associate with sleeping.
• Apply a slightly wet cloth over the child's eyes or forehead. This quickly brings the head temperature down by conduction. Overactive blood flow in the head slows down as a result of contact with a cooler surface.
• Instruct your little one to take deep, long breaths if s/he is old enough. Deep breathing brings in an instant gush of oxygen into the blood, which then passes on to the brain. Oxygen deprivation to the brain is a well-known cause of headaches.
• Encourage your child to go to sleep. Sometimes young children will attempt to ignore their illness because the experience is new to them and their curious nature drives them to activity. Activity at such times is counterproductive and may exacerbate the pain.
• Make the child eat or drink something. Dehydration is a common cause of headaches in children, brought on by high temperature or other illness. Water mixed with a little common salt is an excellent method of retaining nutrients within the body.
• A simple medicine like Nurofen can swiftly relieve pain and other manifestations of headaches. Nurofen contains mild Ibuprofen, a medicine usually taken by adults to relieve fever and headache. Ibuprofen in small quantities is harmless for the child, as even mother's breast milk also contains some Ibuprofen.
If symptoms worsen or you are unsure of the child’s condition, it is best to seek expert help from a professional pediatrician. For any medication, be sure to check the recommended dosage from your pharmacist or doctor before giving it to the child.