Headaches are incredibly common, and they often respond well to over-the-counter medications. But children also develop severe headaches that require expert diagnosis and medical care. The doctors and healthcare team at THINK Neurology for Kids have years of experience helping children with many different types of headaches, accurately diagnosing the cause of their headache, and providing customized treatment that relieves their pain. Appointments are available without a long wait, so call the office in The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, or Austin, Texas, or use the online booking feature.

Headaches Q & A

What causes headaches?

Headaches are placed in one of two categories, depending on their cause:

Primary headaches

Primary headaches develop from problems in the head or neck, often from muscle tension and changes in nerves or blood vessels. Examples of common primary headaches include migraines, tension, and cluster headaches.

Secondary headaches

An underlying medical condition causes secondary headaches. Examples of problems that result in secondary headaches include a concussion or traumatic brain injury, sinus infections, flu, and jaw disorders.

What symptoms develop due to headaches?

While all headaches cause pain, the severity, duration, and type of pain can vary in different types of headaches. Here are a few examples.

Tension headaches

One of the most common headaches, tension headaches cause mild to moderate pain or pressure that may feel like your head is being squeezed.

Migraine headaches

About 10% of school-age children have migraines. Migraines cause a throbbing pain that’s often focused around one temple. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sensitivity to smells, lights, and sounds accompany this type of headache. Migraine headaches develop in response to a variety of possible triggers, such as stress, skipping a meal, and changes in the weather.

When does a child need a doctor for their headaches?

As a general guideline, you should schedule an appointment if your child has headaches that recur or appear daily, their headaches get worse, or new symptoms develop. You should also call THINK Neurology for Kids if your child has migraines or their headache develops due to straining from coughing or sneezing.

If your child has a headache following a blow to the head, whether from a fall, sports collision, or other accident, it’s essential to bring them in for a concussion screening.

Your child needs immediate medical care if they have a headache with a stiff neck, neck pain, and a fever, and when they have a headache and seem hard to wake up or have double vision.

What is the treatment for headaches?

Tension headaches often respond well to over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. However, using more than three doses per week can lead to a medication overuse headache. Call the team at THINK Neurology for Kids if you give your child medication several times weekly.

For more severe or recurring headaches, the doctors at THINK Neurology for Kids help you identify and develop a plan for avoiding your child’s triggers and talk with you about lifestyle measures that help prevent headaches. THINK Neurology for Kids also offers botox injections for migraines. 

Your child’s doctor can also prescribe more potent medications or medications that help prevent future headaches. If their doctor suspects an underlying condition, your child may need diagnostic testing such as blood tests, an MRI, or CT scan. 

If your child suffers from headaches, call THINK Neurology for Kids or schedule an appointment online.