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Headaches in Children - When to Call the Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if your child has:

  • A very painful, sudden headache that's different than any he or she has had before.
  • A fever with a stiff neck.
  • A headache with sudden weakness, numbness, trouble moving parts of the body, vision problems, slurred speech, confusion, or behavior changes.

Call the doctor or seek medical care right away if your child has:

  • Headaches after a recent fall or blow to the head.
  • New nausea or vomiting, or if your child can't keep food or liquids down.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health. Call the doctor if your child's headaches:

  • Last longer than 1 or 2 days.
  • Wake him or her from sleep.
  • Get worse or happen more often.
  • Cause your child to take pain medicines often.
  • Do not go away as expected.
  • Occur along with a change in personality.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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