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 Children's Health

July 2009
Childhood Headaches
Dr Anupam Sibal & Dr Shravan Mehra


5 tips to managing headaches in children

  1. Follow a regular schedule: avoid headache triggers like disrupted sleep, skipped meals.
  2. Obtain written instructions from your doctor: regarding what measures should be taken when your child gets a headache. Also pin these instructions on the fridge for other people to see incase of your absence.
  3. Limit your use of over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicines: Limit them to no more than two doses per week. Excessive use can actually increase headaches.
  4. Educate yourself and your family. Read about your type of headache and its treatment.
  5. Initiate non-drug measures at the earliest onset of your headache: Seek rest in a quiet, comfortable location. Use relaxation strategies and other methods to reduce stress.
There are five patterns of headache.

  1. Acute headache: Single episode of head pain without history of previous headache. This may be caused by fever or systemic infection, sinus, ocular, dental or ear disease.
  2. Acute- recurrent headache: Pattern of head pain separated by symptom-free intervals. This may be caused by migraine or migraine variants.
  3. Chronic-progressive headache: Gradual increase in frequency and severity of headache. This may be caused by tumor, hydrocephalous, and brain abscess.
  4. Chronic- non progressive (or chronic-daily) headache: Frequent or constant headache. This may be caused by depression or anxiety.
  5. Mixed headache: Acute-recurrent headache (usually migraine) superimposed on a chronic-daily headache pattern.
Dr Anupam Sibal is Group Medical Director and Senior Pediatrician of Apollo Hospitals Group
Dr Shravan Mehra is Junior Consultant Apollo Centre for Advanced Pediatrics at Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi

    
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