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7 Remedies for Headaches in Children

Monday, July 16, 2018 7:52 AM

As adults we are aware of how annoying headaches can be. Luckily, we know how we can take care of ourselves and what nips them in the bud. What happens if a child has a headache? It’s important to have an open communication with your child to address his or her pain and figure out the best remedy.


Takijah Heard, MDPediatric Epileptologist at NorthShore and her colleagues Leslie Finkel, MD, and Margaret Michelson, MD, Pediatric Neurologists, share what can be done to help children cope with headaches:

  1. Drink the entire bottle of water, juice or a sports drink.
  2. Rest in a quiet, dark room.
  3. Have juice or a snack to eat.
  4. Get out of the heat. Apply a cool, damp cloth or wrapped ice pack on your child’s forehead.
  5. Gently massage the neck and shoulders.
  6. Avoid screens such as TVs, tablets or cell phones. Always have the screen dimmed.
  7. Consider over the counter medications like Tylenol or Motrin to treat the headaches. If your child has medication, give it to your child exactly as the doctor says.

If headaches are frequent for your child – more than once a week – the NorthShore Pediatric Neurology Department as a group recommends keeping a diary of when the headache starts, how long it lasts, where it hurts and what is the pain like (stabbing, dull, aching or throbbing). If possible, try to note anything that was eaten or activities leading up to the headache, which could help produce a list of triggers. This diary will help your child’s pediatrician or pediatric neurologist determine the type of headache and plan of action.

Dr. Heard recommends to never give ibuprofen more than three times a week on a routine basis. If his/her headaches are this frequent then your child should be seen and followed by a pediatric neurologist.