Headaches are an extremely common ailment. Headaches are not just common in adults, they are also quite common in children, as well. Some children have severe, and reoccurring headaches. Severe headaches in children cannot only be miserable for the child who is affected, but can also be very concerning to the parents of that child. Many parents want to know if severe and reoccurring headaches are reason to suspect that something very serious is happening with their child. However, before becoming too frightened and imagining the worst, such as a brain tumor, know that there are no shortage of more probable reasons that a child could be having severe or reoccurring headaches.
Eye strain – Headaches in children caused by eyestrain can be very severe. Further, because children these days spend a great deal of time staring at cell phone screens and computer monitors, in addition to television screens, it isn’t difficult to see why these types of headaches would recur often, perhaps even daily.
Migraines – As someone who has memories of very severe migraines from as young as three years old, I can say that many, many things can set one off. Severe headaches can occur in children who have a tendency for migraines due to things like smells. Personally, I would suffer horribly severe headaches nearly every day in Kindergarten, due to the smell of the exhaust fumes on the school bus, as well as the ink used to print out our worksheets at school. Lights are another trigger for severe headaches in children who suffer migraines. Temperature is another thing that can cause a severe headache in a child; I still get headaches if I overheat or if I stay outside for too long in temperatures below freezing.
Food additives – I remember reading several years ago that a huge percentage of headaches are caused by food additives. The most obvious would be additives like MSG, but sensitivities to any number of food additives could be the cause of a child’s severe headaches. Before you get yourself worked up worrying about frightening possibilities like Cancer, consider your child’s diet first. Chances are, food additives are contributing to their severe headaches. Some of the most debilitating headaches I have ever experienced in my life could be traced back to a probable reaction to food additives.
Lack of sleep – Most kids do not sleep enough, it’s as simple as that. Severe headaches in children can easily be caused by lack of sleep. Here again, because of the nature of sleep habits repeating day after day, it is understandable that a child who is not sleeping enough could be getting severe headaches on a reoccurring basis.
Allergies – Allergies can lead to some very severe headaches in children. Your doctor might recommend a couple of weeks of a product like Claritin to see if your child’s severe headaches seem to improve with this treatment.
Mono – When my oldest child was 15, she had a severe headache that persisted for nine days. She had often suffered severe headaches from allergies and monthly hormonal changes in the past. Additionally, nearly all of her relatives on both sides of the family were known to get migraines, so we didn’t really worry too much at first. We really thought it was due to allergies, as the seasons were changing, and everyone in our house was having some issues related to seasonal allergies. However, when her severe headache did not subside after so many days, we finally went to the hospital emergency room. The staff immediately took her in for a CT Scan, which really scared me. However, it came back normal, thankfully. Two hours and several tests later, it was discovered that she had contracted Mono, of which one of the most common symptoms is a very severe headache that does not seem to go away, even during sleep. While Mono isn’t as frightening as a Cancer diagnosis, it is a serious illness. My daughter continued to suffer severe headaches for months, and missed an entire semester of high school due to the illness. She recovered very slowly, and sometimes even appears to relapse, although I am not sure that’s possible. If your child is suffering from severe headaches, Mono might be the reason.
Toxic Mold – Exposure to toxic mold can cause a variety of awful symptoms, including severe headaches. If your child is suffering from severe headaches, find out how you can thoroughly search your home for toxic mold to rule it out as a cause. Toxic mold can exist behind the walls of your home without you ever seeing it (this actually happened to us once, in a rental), and can cause severe and reoccurring headaches.
Although severe headaches in children can be a symptom of serious conditions like Cancer, the reality is that the cause of your child’s severe and reoccurring headaches is likely a much less frightening one.