Headaches are one of the most common ailments, so it is likely that your child will come to you complaining of head pain at some point. When that happens, it can feel worrisome!

Since headaches can range from just being mildly annoying to life-threatening, it is important to understand what red flags to look for in your children that indicate a medical emergency.

Our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team wants your kids to stay safe and healthy! We explain the warning signs for childhood headaches below.

How Can I Tell if My Child’s Head Hurts?

It can be hard to tell exactly what is wrong with your child when he or she starts to act differently. Since it can be difficult for children to explain their pain, it is important to watch for any symptom progression and any changes in behavior.

If your child has a headache that is caused by stress, a migraine or something like dehydration or lack of sleep, it can be treated easily at home! Offer some OTC pain medication, some water and rest until he or she starts to feel better. If none of those relief methods seem to be working, now is an important time to watch for any emerging secondary symptoms. These symptoms can indicate an underlying issue that can become a medical emergency like tumors, strokes or blood clots. While these instances are rare, they do still happen and require prompt medical attention.

Secondary Symptoms for Dangerous Headaches

  • Sudden and severe pain
  • Pain accompanied by fever or stiff neck
  • Headaches after an injury or accident
  • Vision or personality changes
  • Numbness or paralysis on the body

How Are Headaches Diagnosed?

If you are concerned about your child’s headache in any way, come see us! We can help determine the underlying cause behind the pain. A health history and full evaluation can help us understand if the pain can be remedied with some simple at home measures or not.

If we suspect a serious issue, your child will most likely be referred to a specialist or a hospital that can perform a CT scan or MRI to investigate further. In any case, we are here to help you and your family stay healthy!

Caring for Your Child’s Headache

  • Provide water.
  • Encourage plenty of rest in a quiet, dark room.
  • Offer an OTC pain reliever or anti-inflammatory.
  • Turn off the TV and cell phone screens.

Headaches are something to always take seriously. If your child suddenly experiences intense head pain, come to AFC Urgent Care Cleveland immediately.