Do babies even get headaches? Is life really that stressful being carted around like a golden potato and lavished with sustenance, cuddles, and sponge baths? In short, the answer is yes; little ones also experience the pain of a throbbing noggin—the tricky bit, however, is that the way they let you know is not so obvious.
Young babies lack the motor skills to even touch their head, and even toddlers may not be able to articulate exactly where the discomfort is coming from, but here are the typical clues a headache may be behind your tot’s tears:
- Holding their head (or trying to)
- Night waking
- Banging head
- Pulling at ears
- Decreased appetite
- Low energy
- Light sensitivity
Children aren’t exempt from the more severe cluster headaches, or migraines, either. Symptoms include:
- Non-stop crying or screaming
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Stomach ache or nausea
- Pain worsens with movement
- Running nose and watering eyes
The causes behind infant headaches are many—just like with adults. Common catalysts are colds, flu or ear infection, hunger, dehydration, teething, anxiety, head injury, or a genetic predisposition to headaches. Very rarely, a headache could indicate meningitis, or a brain condition.
So what can you do to help alleviate the pain?
A sleep usually works wonders—but if your child is in significant pain, GP-approved pain medication according to dosage instructions can provide relief. Above all, keep your little one hydrated.
If you notice any of the following accompanying the signs of a headache, contact your doctor immediately:
- Your child has had a fall
- They’re dizzy or are experiencing vision difficulties
- Decreased alertness
- The headache is getting worse
- Repeated vomiting and fever
- They are in so much discomfort that they cannot sleep or eat
- You’ve administered pain relief for longer than two days