Headaches amongst children are highly common, and often decidedly harmless in the long run. Approximately 54% of schoolchildren have reported recurrent or chronic headaches. Typically, these are caused by simple problems and are not ultimately indicative of major issues. The most common cause of a headache, is a typical illness like the common cold or flu, easily treated through over-the-counter medicine. However, emotional factors such as stressful situations and significant changes to a child's life can also be determined to be the cause of headaches. A predisposition to these symptoms, such as a family history with the problem should also be considered.
There are a number of sub-classifications of headaches, which can further help with examination. The first of which is a migraine, characterised by sensitivity to stimulus, nausea, vomiting, and a pulsing or throbbing pain. The second is a tension-type headache, in which the pain comes with a tight feeling, unaccompanied by nausea but felt in the head and neck. This type of headache has a prevalence of 31% among children. Cluster headaches are identified by their short, stabbing pain and the frequency to which they occur in relation to each other. Lastly, there are chronic daily headaches occur for often in a short period of time and are usually caused by medication or head injury.
The diagnosis of headaches and identification of their root cause are often a straightforward and quick process that can be carried out in the clinic by our experienced staff.
Dr. Natalia Liapounova is a pediatric neurologist who received her training at the University of Alberta. She is proficient in English and Russian, and treats a wide range of patients with neurological conditions. Should you be unable to meet with her in person, she is also does consultations over the phone.