Home treatment can help relieve your
child's headaches. It also can help reduce how often the headaches occur.
When your child has a headache, be sure to give comfort and support.
Headaches can be painful and upsetting. Easing stress or anxiety about the
headaches is important for helping your child feel better.
child may feel stress about missing school or having less time with friends
because of the headaches. Talk about any fears or concerns he or she might
Work with your child's doctor
Tell your child's
doctor about any headaches your child has. The doctor can help you know what
type of headache it is so you can choose the best treatment. It
may help to find a doctor who has experience treating headaches in children.
headache diary (What is a PDF document?). A headache diary can help you find a link between your
child's headaches and the things that trigger them. Help your child write down when
each headache starts, how long it lasts, where it hurts, and what the pain is
like (throbbing, aching, stabbing, or dull).
The doctor can help make a treatment plan
that your child can follow at home and at school. Tell your child's teachers
and other caregivers about the treatment plan. Be sure to discuss any headache
medicines your child takes. Encourage your child to always let caregivers know
when a headache starts.
To treat migraines or tension headaches at home:
- Give medicines for your child's headache exactly as your
doctor says. If your doctor has not prescribed any medicines for headaches,
give your child a pain reliever, such as children's acetaminophen or
- Have your child go to a quiet, dark room to rest. Most
headaches will go away with rest or sleep. Watching TV, using the computer, talking on the phone and sending text messages, or reading can
often make the headache worse.
- Put a cold, moist cloth or ice pack on the
part of the head that hurts. If you use ice, put a thin cloth between the ice
and your child's skin. Do not use heat, since it can make the pain
- Gently massage your child’s neck and
- Give your child water, juice, and other drinks that do
not contain caffeine. This may help the headache go away faster. Water is the
Tell your child's doctor about any new symptoms that occur
with a headache, such as a fever, weakness or numbness, vision changes, or
confusion. These may be signs of a more serious problem.
doctor about other treatments that may help your child's headaches, such as
relaxation exercises. For more information about relaxation exercises, see:
- Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation.