: Young Children Don't Know How to Describe Headaches
Small children may not yet know how to describe
pain and cannot easily tell parents they have a headache.
Professor Berthold Koletzko from the Child Health Foundation in
Munich explains that children cannot provide even semi-reliable
information about their headaches until they are 5 years of age.
With smaller children, parents should watch for them putting their
hands on their head or over their eyes.
Conspicuous wrinkling of eyebrows or repeated ruffling of hair are
also possible signs of a headache. Babies with headaches are often
irritable, restless and extremely touch-sensitive, added Koletzko.
In order to determine the reason, the foundation advises a
thorough examination of the child, a detailed questioning of the
parents and a headache calendar. Parents and the child - if the child
can read and write on his or her own - should independently take note
of when, how strong and how long the headaches occur for a 4- to
In addition, Koletzko said it makes sense to take note of
attendant symptoms, any triggers and any medication taken.
Possible headache triggers are feverish illnesses, possible
infections such as ear or throat infections, concussion or too much
sun. But Koletzko said a hardly visible visual defect such as
squinting could be the cause as well.
Parents should also take into account any mental reasons such as
stress in school or within the family.
To avoid headaches, children should maintain a healthy lifestyle,
including regular meals, a balanced diet, a consistent sleeping
pattern, lots of fresh air and exercise as well as less time in front
of the television or computer.
The foundation also found that it's helpful if the child learns
relaxation techniques such as the Jacobsen progressive muscle
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