Top of the page
Headaches are a common problem for children. Tension headaches are often caused or "triggered" by physical or emotional stress. Other triggers include feeling fatigued, skipping meals, and grinding or clenching teeth. Frequent use of pain medicine can also make tension headaches more frequent and severe.
Most headaches in children are not a sign of a more serious problem and will get better on their own. Home treatment may help your child feel better faster.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
To prevent migraines and tension headaches in your child, try these tips.
This diary can help you find a link between your child's headaches and the things that trigger them. Help your child write down when each headache starts, how long it lasts, where it hurts, and what the pain is like. (Is it throbbing, aching, stabbing, or dull?)
Triggers are things that can cause your child to have headaches. Your child may be able to prevent headaches by avoiding the triggers.
Don't let your child's schedule get too busy or filled with stressful events.
Avoid drinks that have caffeine. Many popular soda drinks contain caffeine.
Help your child keep a regular sleep schedule. Most children need to sleep 8 to 10 hours each night.
But your child should exercise without overdoing it.
Provide regular, healthy meals.
Do not smoke or let anyone else smoke around your child or in your house.
Make sure that the level and amount of schoolwork is appropriate for your child.
Your child may need to take it even when they don't have a headache.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter M403 in the search box to learn more about "Tension Headache in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: August 25, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.