• Alert

    Alert - We encourage you to practice good hygiene and physical distancing to help slow the spread of germs. If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, coughing, sore throat or shortness of breath you should seek medical advice from a doctor (including pathology testing) and stay at home. Where any conflict may arise between the Department of Health’s advice and any information on this Website, please follow advice from the Department of Health’s “Health Alerts”  Click Here

    Headaches In Children: Signs, Symptoms And Remedies

    Headaches In Children: Signs, Symptoms And Remedies

    • Headaches aren’t confined to adults – children can get them too. But because kids often experience headaches differently to adults, they can go unnoticed.
    • A child’s headache or migraine can be accompanied by sickness or a tummy ache. It can impact their day, but they do tend to recover fast, sometimes bouncing back to normal in half an hour.1
    • There are some simple measures you can take to help prevent your child developing headache, or to ease symptoms if they are suffering from one.1

    What to do:

    What to avoid:

    • have the child lie down quietly in a darkened room
    • apply a cool, moistened towel or cloth to the forehead
    • encourage easy and deep breathing
    • encourage sleep: the body’s natural way of healing
    • invite them to eat or drink (not caffeinated drinks)
    • give paracetamol or Ibuprofen: syrup is easier for kids
    • for fast relief, give Nurofen for children with Ibuprofen: ideally at onset of symptoms.2
    • If your child gets frequent headaches, you can teach them some simple relaxation techniques.2
    • skipping meals
    • dehydration: encourage drinking water throughout the day
    • irregular bedtimes and inadequate sleep
    • caffeinated drinks, which can cause dehydration.1

    When to see a medical professional

    Children’s headaches aren’t usually serious and can be treated at home.


    Seek medical advice if painkillers are not helping your child’s headaches and if they are recurring, severe or worsening. Other symptoms requiring professional consultation include:


    • severe throbbing pain to the side or front of the head
    • nausea and/or vomiting
    • double vision
    • extra-sensitivity to light/sound
    • weakness or numbness in the limbs
    • difficulty speaking.2

    Speak to your GP urgently if your child is experiencing a severe headache with a painful jaw when eating, blurred or double vision and their scalp feels sore.2

    Go to A&E or call 999 if your child develops a very sudden bad headache, especially after a fall or accident.2

    Frequent causes:

    • high levels of stress and/or anxiety
    • dehydration
    • skipping meals: it can create low blood sugar levels
    • noisy environments1
    • a cold or flu
    • bad posture
    • medication overuse
    • eyesight problems.2

    Common types of headaches in children:

    • migraines
    • tension headaches
    • cluster headaches
    • medication-overuse headaches