Posted by: Lynn | 2018/06/14

headaches in children younger than 12 years

When should recurring headaches in young children be a concern? My daughter has been suffering from severe headaches since toddler age. Now she is 11 yrs, the GP's have always just brushed it aside. Her headaches get so bad she just takes some pain meds / syrup and go lie down. I always check to see if she's spent time in the sun, drank water and whether she has eaten when at school. Generally these are all covered. MINIMAL SUN, DRINKS WATER REGULARLY AND HAS EATEN. please advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert
- 2018/06/14

Dear Lynn, if the GPs have brushed it aside it is because of ignorance. Of course it is of concern as it affects one's quality of life - and headaches from childhood tend to get worse with age. There is definitely a cause for the pain, and in the vast majority of patients it is possible to diagnose the cause and treat it.

To get to the root of the problem, it is necessary to undergo what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed. To learn more about the multidisciplinary assessment, please click here


This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain. For more information on how the muscles can affect headaches, please click here. For more information on the involvement of the arteries in the pain please click here and here.


Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click here


To contact The Headache Clinic (Johannesburg, Cape Town), call 011 484 0933, or e-mail to

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: samantha | 2018/06/21

good day i need advice my boy is 5 and is complaining of a headache sins last night and he has a fever please help me in what can it be.

Reply to samantha

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