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Migraines and Headaches in Children

Fortunately, less than 2% of pediatric and adolescent headaches are the result of a serious disease or physical problem. But you should still be aware of signs that may indicate a more serious illness behind your child's headaches.

A more serious problem should be considered when your child has any of the following:

  • Increased frequency. If the frequency of headaches is increasing, this is a cause for concern.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Localized neurological signs, such as numbness or tingling.
  • Headache causing awakening. Although this can occur in migraines, a headache that causes your child to awake from sleep is suggestive of an underlying brain disorder.

Also, you should take your child to the doctor if he or she has headaches with:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden loss of balance or falling
  • Paralysis
  • Speech difficulties
  • Mental confusion
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Personality changes/inappropriate behavior
  • Vision changes (blurry vision, double vision, or blind spots)
  • Lethargy: being indifferent, apathetic or sluggish, or sleeping too much

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on August 01, 2014

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