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Cook Children's Neurosciences.
Neurosciences - We do it all for kids.


HeadachesDid you know that headaches are a common problem in children and adolescents? Or that headaches are generally more common in girls than boys, especially after puberty?

Kids, like adults, are prone to headaches. Depending on the cause, those headaches can disrupt a child's daily activities. Fortunately, the Headache Program team at Cook Children's is here to offer relief.

Most headaches in children are not the result of a serious illness. However, if your child's headache seems out of the ordinary, involves a high level of pain or occurs frequently, please contact your child's pediatrician. If your child's headache symptoms include the following seek prompt medical attention:

Our program

There are many causes of headaches including sinuses and neurological migraine. Those caused by infectious illnesses, such as a cold or flu, are the most common and usually disappear as the illness runs its course. Others, like migraine, may be chronic and can interrupt a child's life. Our goal is to help patients determine the cause of their headaches and help them manage their pain so they can resume their normal daily activities.

Our team approach

We offer a multi-disciplinary teamapproach to treating children with headaches. Each patient is seen by a neurologist who specializes in diagnosing and managing headaches. Our neurologists collaborate with other members of our team such as pain management or biofeedback specialists to treat headaches. We also coordinate our patient's treatment plan with their primary care provider.

How are headaches treated?

We partner with the patient to provide a treatment plan that includes knowledge, understanding, and tools to manage their pain and return to an active life, including:

What is a migraine?

Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by moderate to severe headaches. In children and adolescents migraine pain can affect the front or both sides of the head. A migraine headache can also include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine episodes can last from a couple of hours to a few days. The frequency of migraines and migraine episodes can vary a great deal depending on the person.

Common symptoms of migraines

Migraines are complex and there are many symptoms. The following is a list of the most common symptoms. During a migraine, the patient may experience one or more symptoms:

Migraine triggers

There is much to be learned about the cause of migraines. And while we aren't sure as to why, we do know that certain things can trigger them. Common migraine triggers include:

Knowing these triggers can help you and your child identify those that may contribute to your child's migraines and thus avoid those triggers.

When is it more than a headache?

Although rare, headaches can signal a more serious neurological disorder or disease such as aneurysms or stroke, brain tumors, high or low blood sugar even Lyme disease or arthritis. A neurological disorder or condition may be considered if your child has any neurological symptoms such as these:

Family resources and knowledge


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