Why does a child have a headache: causes of primary and secondary headache


  • Causes of Primary Headache in Children
  • Causes of Secondary Headache
  • Diagnostic Program and Treatment of

Despite the long-standing assertion that children do not experience primary headaches, today it has been shown that small patients with almost

have the same frequency asadults suffering from cephalalgia( primary and symptomatic).Under the term cephalagy are meant any unpleasant sensations in the head area from the supraviral arches to the occipital area.

Headache also accompanies more than 50 childhood diseases. In this case, we are talking about secondary cephalalgia, which prevails in childhood. According to statistics up to age 7, about 40% of children experience headaches, and almost 75% of them know about 14.

If a child has a headache, then this should not be left unattended by parents and doctors, especially they should be alert to the situation when the headache of the child arose for the first time, it is very strong, is chronic and is accompanied by other disturbing symptoms.

Causes of Primary Headache in Children

Under the primary headache, cephalalgia is a sign that has no apparent cause, that is, at full medical examination of the child, no pathological abnormalities were found.

According to the modern classification of types of headache here include:

  • migraine;
  • tension cephalic;
  • cluster headache.

Migraine in a child

Why do children suffer from migraines - not known. It is believed that the attacks are related to the genetic predisposition of the child to the disease. If one of the parents suffers from migraine. In the case of a sting by a child on cephalalgia, it is necessary to exclude migraine headache as the risk is high.

The peculiarity of pediatric migraine is an atypical clinical picture. The younger the child, the less similar to the classical one-way migraine attack is observed.

As a rule, migraine lasts from 30 minutes to 5 hours, the pain has a more diffuse localization( in older children it is one-sided, as usual), pulsating character. Always accompanied by nausea, urge to vomit. In younger children, chest disorder( rare) and abdominal pain, anxiety, and refusal of food may develop. Older children complain of increased sensitivity to light and sounds.

Why does a child have a headache: causes of primary and secondary headache

Children also suffer from migraine, especially if one of the parents has this

ailment. After the attack, the children usually fall asleep. Sometimes before an attack of pain you can observe the aura, but you can only notice it in older ones. They complain of a sudden deterioration of vision or hearing, muscle weakness in a certain extremity, paresthesia.

Surveillance of a child with suspected migraines is mandatory. This is first and foremost necessary for the exception of severe brain diseases, for example, tumors, as well as for the purpose of appointing a specific treatment, since all drugs are far from beneficial to the child's body.

Headache Pain In Children

If a child complains of regular headaches that occur mainly in the afternoon, after lessons or psycho-emotional overvoltages, then you should suspect a problem such as tension cephalalgia.

This headache lasts from 30 minutes to 2-3 hours. Its intensity is low or average, it is diffuse in nature, not accompanied by any other pathological features. As a rule, it goes away on its own after a rest or a usual pain reliever.

Precise causes of voltage pain have not been established for today, but in its development an important role is played by overstrain muscles( occipital, temporal, chewable, sternoclavicular, stenosis, trapezius).The role of flip-flops is given by intellectual load, psycho-emotional stress factors, negative effects of the environment( lack of fresh air, loud sounds, bright light, long time spent on a computer monitor, etc.).

Causes of Secondary Headache

Any somatic and infectious disease can cause headache in children, but most often encounter such situations.

Intracranial Hypertension

Increased intracranial pressure is a common cause of secondary cephalalgia among children. Moreover, there are idiopathic cases where it is impossible to determine the factor that led to increased pressure inside the skull, and secondary. Among the latter children are congenital disorders in the system of the ventricles of the brain, congenital elevated spinal cord fluid production, the effects of intrauterine TORCH infections, genital trauma, craniocerebral trauma, central nervous system infections( meningitis, encephalitis).

Characteristic clinical features of such pain:

  • pain appears or intensifies in the morning after sleep or in a horizontal position;
  • cephalalgia also increases with any stresses of the baby, for example, cough, straining during bowel movements, laughter;
  • accompanied by nausea, vomiting without relief;
  • pain is progressing in nature.

Video transmission of childhood cephalalgia:

Children's headache - the story of the life of

Why does a child have a headache: causes of primary and secondary headache
Watch this video on YouTube

In young children, symptoms of intracranial hypertension are:

  • protrusion and pulsation of the penis;
  • divergence of seams between skull bones;
  • Head circumference surplus normal for a certain age;
  • in case of pain, the child is not calm, cries, refuses to eat.

In newborns, increased intracranial pressure can lead to severe consequences. They often develop hydrocephalus, or hydrocephalus. The skull is enlarged in size, the head is deformed. Due to the constant squeezing of the substance of the brain with an increased amount of liquor, it can not develop normally, part of the brain tissue is atrophied, which can cause a serious mental and physical retardation of the child.

In the event of any pathological symptoms on the part of the infant, he must carry out neurosotography, ultrasound of the brain through the source. This method of diagnostics allows to effectively identify the pathology at an early stage and form a complex of treatment, resulting in a child normally grows and develops. In severe cases, surgical intervention, brain shunting to eliminate excessive liquor is required.

Common Infectious Diseases

Almost all general infectious diseases are accompanied by headache: influenza and other acute respiratory infections, rubella, measles, mumps, intestinal infections, bronchitis, laryngitis, pneumonia, inflammation of the kidneys and urinary tract.

In each case, the pattern of the disease will depend on the main diagnosis, and headache is just one of the symptoms, and not the most important. Suspect an infection in a child can be when cephalalgia is combined with elevated temperature, various skin rashes, general malaise, violation of the chair, rapid development of symptoms, catarrhal manifestations.

As a rule, a separate treatment does not require such pain. It passes with adequate therapy of the primary disease, as it is caused by intoxication of the organism.

Why does a child have a headache: causes of primary and secondary headache

Increased temperature and headache in a child may indicate an


Infections of the CNS Infectious diseases of the brain, meningitis and encephalitis, occur predominantly in children between the ages of 4 and 5, although it is not excluded even at a later age. The reason may be pathological bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites. The most common cause of meningitis in children is meningococcus, pneumococcus, rubella virus, herpes infections and hemophilia sticks.

With meningitis, the brain's lining is inflamed, and when the encephalitis is the brain substance itself. These are very dangerous diseases, which can lead to a fatal outcome within a few hours from the beginning.

Symptoms of CNS infections :

  • expressed intoxication syndrome( fever, pallor or cyanosis, tachycardia, low blood pressure, lack of appetite, general malaise);
  • meningeal syndrome( breakthrough headache, dizziness, disturbances of consciousness of varying degrees of severity, seizures, vomiting, photophobia, rigidity of the muscles in the back, throwing the head back);
  • focal neurological symptoms( more characteristic of encephalitis), which depend on the localization of the pathological focus in the brain;
  • hemorrhagic rash on the body in the form of asterisks.

Brain tumors

In childhood, they often have to deal with primary brain tumors or with metastatic foci in malignant diseases of the blood system.

Headache in brain tumors is very similar to cephalalgia with intracranial hypertension. But with tumors in parallel symptoms described there are focal neurological signs.

CHMT and its consequences

Children due to their high motor activity and undeveloped feelings of fear and danger are often traumatized, and for the part of CHT it accounts for up to 65%.In most cases it is a concussion, but there are more complex injuries. The

headache accompanies each case of trauma to the skull during an acute period. The problem is that most children hide their parents from the fact of trauma, suffering pain, and some mothers and dads do not attach importance to such trifles, if everything is in order with the child. But CHM traumas are dangerous due to their complications, which occur if they do not adhere to the protective regime and receive no appropriate therapy.

Why does a child have a headache: causes of primary and secondary headache

Children have an increased risk of injury to the head of the

. An example of such a complication is the postcommonation syndrome, which can develop even after a slight degree of shaking in the period from 6 months to 3 years after the injury. It is characterized by the development of chronic and persistent headaches( migraine may begin in some cases), dizziness, decreased school performance, memory loss and concentration, emotional instability, sleep disturbance and even a change in the main features of the character.

A headache also can disturb a child during many of his life's routine, if at birth a child has suffered any type of genital trauma, especially cerebral hemorrhages.

Among other less frequent causes of secondary headache in children, one may note:

  • vegetative-vascular dystonia;
  • diseases of ENT organs;
  • dental pathology;
  • visual impairment;
  • chewing gum entrainment.

Diagnostic program and treatment for

Any case of headache without visible for any reason should in any case not be left without medical attention, especially if cephalalgia originated for the first time, it has a progressive nature, headache is very strong, accompanied by other disturbing symptoms.

Only by establishing the correct diagnosis, you can begin to effectively treat. In the case of secondary headaches, it is necessary to eliminate the cause of the pathological symptoms, and the headache will go on its own. In primary cephalalgia, the doctor may prescribe treatment, both for relief of attacks and for their prevention.

Why does a child have a headache: causes of primary and secondary headache

Review of Pediatric Neurologist - Mandatory for Children with Cephalalgia

Diagnostic Methods for Headaches in a Child:

  • Consultation of Pediatrician, Ophthalmologist, ENT Doctor, Dentist and Pediatric Neurologist, Psychologist;
  • general clinical tests of blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid;
  • neurosonography;
  • MRI, CT, radiography of the skull;
  • research aimed at the detection of infection;
  • electroencephalography.

Children's Headache Video:

Zdravitsa. Headache in children.

Why does a child have a headache: causes of primary and secondary headache
Watch this video on YouTube

Treatment of headaches in children is associated with great difficulty, because not all medicines used in adults can be used in childhood. The only drug that can be used safely in children is paracetamol. The dose is 15 mg / kg. Alternative drugs - acetylsalicylic acid, naproxen, ibuprofen, phenacetin, caffeine.