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Why does my son get headache frequently?

Saturday, 08 November 2008
Answered by: Dr. R. K. Sabharwal
Senior Consultant Child Neurology & Epilepsy
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,
New Delhi
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Q. My 10 years old son has very curly hair. I have noticed that when his hair grows a lot, he starts having frequent headaches. He has a poor appetite and eats very less. His weight is 20 kg and height is 3.0 feet. Is his headaches associated with the hair growth or his lack of appetite? Please advise.

A.  The headaches are unrelated to hair growth. A common cause of headaches in children besides fever and upper respiratory tract infections, is migraine. In case one of the parent has headaches, and the child gets headaches when he has missed meals, gone out in the sun, had lack of sleep, watched too much TV; and the headache is associated with nausea or vomiting, dislike for loud sounds and bright lights, has stomach aches, and is relieved by sleep; then the cause is likely migraine. In case the headaches are frequent (> 1/week) and cause him to miss school, then preventive medications for migraine may be required. In the meantime ensure that the child sleeps early, drinks plenty of fluids, does not miss breakfast, restrict TV to 1 hour, avoid chocolates and colas.

A.  The headaches are unrelated to hair growth. A common cause of headaches in children besides fever and upper respiratory tract infections, is migraine. In case one of the parent has headaches, and the child gets headaches when he has missed meals, gone out in the sun, had lack of sleep, watched too much TV; and the headache is associated with nausea or vomiting, dislike for loud sounds and bright lights, has stomach aches, and is relieved by sleep; then the cause is likely migraine. In case the headaches are frequent (> 1/week) and cause him to miss school, then preventive medications for migraine may be required. In the meantime ensure that the child sleeps early, drinks plenty of fluids, does not miss breakfast, restrict TV to 1 hour, avoid chocolates and colas.

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