Symptom Definition

  1. Pain or discomfort of the scalp or forehead areas
  2. The face and ears are excluded
  3. Main cause: muscle tension headache or headache from fever

See More Appropriate Topic

  1. If followed a head injury within last 3 days, see HEAD TRAUMA
  2. If pain is around the eye or the cheekbone, see SINUS PAIN AND CONGESTION

Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance)

  1. Difficult to awaken

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  1. Your child looks or acts very sick
  2. Confused thinking or slurred speech
  3. Blurred or double vision
  4. Weakness or unsteady walking
  5. Stiff neck
  6. Severe headache with fever or vomiting

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 and 4) If

  1. You think your child needs to be seen
  2. Sore throat present > 24 hours
  3. Sinus pain or pressure of forehead

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If

  1. You have other questions or concerns
  2. Headache present > 24 hours
  3. Headaches are a recurrent problem

Parent Care at Home If

  1. Mild headache and you don't think your child needs to be seen

Home Care Advice for Mild Headaches

  1. Pain Medicine: Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief. (See Dosage table) Headaches due to fever are also helped by fever reduction.
  2. Food: Give fruit juice or food if your child is hungry or hasn't eaten in > 4 hours.(Reason: skipping a meal can cause a headache in many children).
  3. Rest: Lie down in a quiet place and relax until feeling better.
  4. Local Cold: Apply a cold washcloth or ice pack to the forehead for 20 minutes.
  5. Stretching: Stretch and massage any tight neck muscles.
  6. Call Your Doctor If
    1. Headache lasts > 24 hours despite using a pain medicine
    2. Your child becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms