Headache help

Tips on signs to look for when your young child complains of headaches

Q: My four-year-old often wakes up complaining of a headache. His doctor advised me to give him Advil for the pain and said the headaches are likely migraines (which I had as a child). It’s been a few months, though, and I’m worried — what’s going on?

A: Pain that wakes children from sleep demands medical attention, whether it’s a tummy ache, headache or something else. Have you noticed any other changes in your son, such as coordination, appetite or visual problems? Is there any vomiting associated with these headaches? Are they only experienced at night? I think another visit to the doctor is in order and perhaps even some testing to figure out what’s going on. Headaches, including migraines, can be present in very young children and they usually occur when there’s a strong family history of similar headaches. It sounds like your instincts tell you all is not well, and a parent’s instincts should never be ignored.

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