- Pain or discomfort of the scalp or forehead areas
- The face and ears are excluded
- Main cause: muscle tension headache or headache from fever
See More Appropriate Topic
- If followed a head injury within last 3 days, see Head Trauma
- If pain is around the eye or the cheekbone, see Sinus Pain and Congestion
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance)
- Difficult to awaken
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Confused thinking or slurred speech
- Blurred or double vision
- Weakness or unsteady walking
- Stiff neck
- Severe headache with fever or vomiting
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 and 4) If
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Sore throat present > 24 hours
- Sinus pain or pressure of forehead
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
- You have other questions or concerns
- Headache present > 24 hours
- Headaches are a recurrent problem
Parent Care at Home If
- Mild headache and you don’t think your child needs to be seen
Home Care Advice for Mild Headaches
- Pain Medicine: Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief. (See Dosage table) Headaches due to fever are also helped by fever reduction.
- 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).
- Rest: Lie down in a quiet place and relax until feeling better.
- Local Cold: Apply a cold washcloth or ice pack to the forehead for 20 minutes.
- Stretching: Stretch and massage any tight neck muscles.
- Call Your Doctor If
- Headache lasts > 24 hours despite using a pain medicine
- Your child becomes worse or develops any of the “Call Your Doctor” symptoms