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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Headaches - Home Treatment

Headaches in children

When your child has headaches:

  • Talk to your child. Let him or her know you care. Extra attention and quiet time may be all that is needed to relieve the pain.
  • If your child's doctor has prescribed a specific treatment for his or her headaches, begin treatment as soon as your child complains of the pain.
  • Let your child rest quietly in a darkened room with a cool compress on his or her forehead.
  • If your child's headache pain is mild, encourage him or her to go on with normal activities.
  • Let your child do his or her usual activities if he or she feels like it unless the headache pain is moderate to severe.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription for children
Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your child's headache:

Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen to treat a fever. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.

Safety tips for children
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
  • Carefully read and follow all labels on the medicine bottle and box.
  • Give, but do not exceed, the maximum recommended doses.
  • Do not give your child a medicine if he or she has had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless directed to do so by your child's doctor.
  • Do not give naproxen (such as Aleve) to children younger than age 12 unless your child's doctor tells you to.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • Pain increases or other symptoms develop, such as fever, confusion, vision changes, or vomiting.
  • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 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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