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Pediatric Headaches

Key Points About Headaches in Children

  • A headache is pain or discomfort in one or more areas of the head or face. Headaches can happen once in a while. Or they may happen often.
  • Primary headaches are not linked to another health condition. They are often caused by tight muscles, widened (dilated) blood vessels, changes in nerve signals or swelling (inflammation) in parts of the brain.
  • Secondary headaches are the least common type of headaches. They are caused by a problem in the brain, or another health condition or disease.
  • In addition to head pain, your child may have nausea or vomiting.
  • Your child may have an MRI or a CT scan to help diagnose what may be causing a headache.
  • Treatment may include resting, taking medicines, managing stress, getting more sleep and not having certain foods or drinks.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a headache in children?

What causes headaches in a child?

Which children are at risk for headaches?

What are the symptoms of a headache in children?

How are headaches diagnosed in a child?

How are headaches treated in a child?

What are possible complications of headaches in a child?

How can I help prevent headaches in my child?

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

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Headache and Migraine Treatment at Children's National Hospital

Our nationally recognized clinic helps children and adolescents with chronic, debilitating head pain, headaches and migraines. Discover more about the treatments we offer.

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Brynleigh's Story

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Meet the Providers Who Treat Headaches

Departments that Treat Headaches

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Headache Program

The Headache Program at Children's National Hospital evaluates and treats more than 2,000 patients annually.

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Balance and Vestibular Program

The Balance and Vestibular Program at Children's National Hospital treats children experiencing dysfunction of the vestibular system such as dizziness, imbalance, delayed motor function development and vertigo.

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Our pediatric neuroscience team is the largest in the country, allowing us to offer our vast experience to patients and families.