33 answers

5 Year Old with Headaches

I am at my wits end!My 5 year old son has had headaches for about a year now. I took him to the Dr., and we had his eyes checked, and a few other simple tests. He concluded that it was PROBABLY, not definately from allergies or stress. Now he has begun getting them more severely and frequently, this week he had one for 3 days strait, he wouldn't eat or do anything, and ended up vomiting with one, so I took him to the Dr., and he again did nothing! Again said it was probably allergies! I am very worried about this, and have my mother's instinct that says something is not right here! Has anyone else had this problem, or if you just have some advice about it! I just don't know what to do anymore!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First off thank you eveyone for your help! I did go to another doctor for a 2nd opinion today, and Cat scans show nothing, which is good, but he says he does have migraines, which unfortunatly can not be treated in a 5 year old! The next step is to figure out what is triggering them! I do not smoke, nor does anyone he's around, and he's had the same diet forever! I am going to keep a log of everything he eats and does, and see if I can find a trigger! Thank you all so much for your help!

Featured Answers

M.,

I know how difficult this is. My son too had severe headaches out of no where and some would last for days. I took him to a specialist and they did an allergy scan on him after all other tests failed. They determined in deed the headaches were coming from allergies. He is allergic to cigarette smoke and certain types of grass. They gave him a nasal spray to use for now and it has done wonders for him. If you need to talk send me a message.

Hi M.,
I have read everyone's responses and I agree with everyone. Migraines can be very complex. I had migraines as a child and I would suggest the catscan, MRI, or EEG. Hopefully nothing will be found. In most cases nothing is. I wanted to respond to you because nobody mentioned the dentist. I would do this first. I went through all of the above and it ended up being from griding my teeth. It may even be teeth shifting or TMJ. I hope this helped.

Well 1st take him to see a neorologist. My son has been having headaches and migrains since he was 3 yrs old (and maybe before but 3 is when he started telling us) he is 11 now. we dealt with the doctor telling us things until he was 7 and this is when I took him to see a neorologist. If you want to talk more you can email me at ____@____.com

J. P.
mother of 4
2daughters 3, 10
2sons 4,11
and wife

More Answers

M.,

Go with you gut instincts! Find another Dr. & get another opinion.

What you're describing isn't normal, nor should your son suffer without some sort of follow up. Sounds like it's getting worse. Having his eyes checked was a good start, which I assume was normal. If it is allergies, he should be seen by an allergist to find out if & what's bothering him.

Are there changes going on @ home/school/daycare which may be stressing him. You wrote that you are a newly single mom, sounds like some ____@____.com world as he knew it may have changed and he doesn't know how to handle it. What may seem minor to you may be overwhelming for him. He see things through the eyes of a 5 yr old.

He maybe worried about you. Ask him if anything is bothering him. Maybe he's being bullied @ school/daycare/ friends that you're not aware of.

Make sure he's getting enough sleep and is eating well.

Try to watch what he eats. Keep a record of what he eats & when he has a HA. Look back over the last 24 hours and see if there is a common food. Watch for foods with preservatives or MSG in it. Limit sweets.

He's had these HA for too long without knowing the cause. If I was having frequent HA's without testing to find out why, you better believe I'd find a Dr. who would believe me.

I hope he feels better soon! Good luck!

K. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Regardless of the situation, if your doctor isn't listening to your concerns and investigating them, you need to either be more firm with him/her or change docs.

It does sound like migraines, as others have said, and while 5 is incredibly young for them, there are treatments available and your child doesn't have to be miserable just b/c a doc doesn't want to do his/her job.

M.,

If the head aches have gone on for this long I would demand the Drs do a cat scan or MRI of your son's head (if they haven't already). Good luck, and let us know how he is.

The first thing that comes to mind is a sinus infection. Ask him where exactly he hurts. If he is having pain in his cheekbone area and near his nose, and/or his forehead, that is what it might be. It could have started as just allergies and just recently blown into a sinus infection. Does he have a lot of nasal drainage? Coughing? (Coughing is due to the nasal drainage). The vomiting is likely due to the nasal draingage as well, because it can trigger the gag reflex. He'll need an x-ray of his head/sinuses to prove he has a sinus infection.

If it isn't a sinus infection (it completely goes away and then comes back a few days later), then it might be migraines. Ask him if bright lights bother him, if he sees anything funny or smells anything funny right before he starts getting the headache. It's common to get nausea and vomiting with a migraine, too. These are the things that come immediately to mind, hopefully that helps.

Hi M.,
I would definitely switch doctors, or have yours refer you to a specialist. It could be something a lot more serious than allergies, and with him vomiting, kinda sounds like migraines. I'd just keep it on the safe side and take him to someone else. Keep in touch, I'd like to know what you find out. My boys are 5 and 10 and M. is 2 1/2

J. R.
http://www.stayinhomeandlovinit.com/cgi-bin/team.cgi?id=J...

Have you ever tried chiropractic care? I know people who use it for everything...I'm not one of them, but my son had a cold for about 2 months and I had finally had it, so I took him to a great doctor who didn't crack him but did very gentle massage techniques to adjust him. Two days later all of his cold symptoms had cleared up -- it was amazing! I don't know where you live, but I can give you more info if you'd like. If this doesn't help...I would definately get a second opinion. Follow your gut...God gave you your instincts for a reason.

Take him to the Hospital IMMEDIATELY and have them do a CAT scan of his head. I am not trying to worry you (and this may be nothing) but I have had 2 children who have bled into the brain and those are the exact symptoms. Mu youngest (who is 13 months now) was only 11 days old and my son is 5 (his just happened in Jan. of this year) and this is just a precaution, but it is better safe than sorry with your children and I have learned the hard way that it can happen to you. I will keep your son in my thoughts and I hope everything is fine with him. If you have any more qustions feel free to message me.

M.,

I know how difficult this is. My son too had severe headaches out of no where and some would last for days. I took him to a specialist and they did an allergy scan on him after all other tests failed. They determined in deed the headaches were coming from allergies. He is allergic to cigarette smoke and certain types of grass. They gave him a nasal spray to use for now and it has done wonders for him. If you need to talk send me a message.

I had a similar problem with my daughter...It sounds like your son may have migraines...My daughter was diagnosed with them at 8 yrs old after several tests...I would recommend either asking your doctor for more ttests or taking your son to children's. Trust your instincts...you know your child better than some doctor...Please feel free to contact me if you have any other ??? about this. my email is ____@____.com...good luck

I would seek a second opinion.

Well 1st take him to see a neorologist. My son has been having headaches and migrains since he was 3 yrs old (and maybe before but 3 is when he started telling us) he is 11 now. we dealt with the doctor telling us things until he was 7 and this is when I took him to see a neorologist. If you want to talk more you can email me at ____@____.com

J. P.
mother of 4
2daughters 3, 10
2sons 4,11
and wife

M., I definitely think you should trust your instinct and have further testing done ASAP to rule out a more serious problem. Find out if you can get a referral from your doctor for an MRI or whatever so they can look at his brain. It sounds like your doctor isn't taking it seriously enough. Either you need to see another doctor or tell your doctor what you need from him. If it is just allergies, what can the doctor do to ease your son's discomfort? Also, your son could be tested to find out what he's allergic to. Let us know what you find out.

For one I would get a second opinion from a different doctor. It sounds like migraines to me-- I'm not sure why a 5 year old would get them though. Plus, if it were allergies, couldn't they give him some sort of allergy prescription or give some sort of remedy for it? Good Luck to you!

My son had the same problem but his started when he was almost 3. Some doctors dont believe that kids can have migrains and they just blame it on allergies and tell you to go home. what i can suggest is that you get a notebook, and keep track of everything your son eats or drinks and see if you notice a pattern. make sure to keep track of flavors, and dyes. what i did was any thing he ate that was prepared or in a box, i saved the label. and then you can look back between headaches to see if there is a food that triggers it. Also I would ask his doctor for a catscan. or even a referral to a neurologist. he is right to think that it is an allergy as most migrains are brought on by an allergy, but what he is allergic to needs to be addressed to stop the headaches. If the doctor is convinced it is an allergy maybe he needs to have some allergy tests. Does he have any other symptoms with his headaches? My son used to get really cranky or misbehave alot right before the headache started. I learned to quickly give him tylenol and motrin, and sometimes some benadryl. he would then sleep for a little while wake up without a headache. Also keep track of where you go like grandmas or whoever's house.

Good Luck!
L.

My intial instinct was that his headaches are vision or diet related. Allergies can cause severe headaches, especially in children. I would take him to another Dr. to get another opinion and maybe even run some allergy tests in addition to another vision test. Hope it gets better for your little guy!

M.,
My best suggestion is to follow your gut instinct....we have them for a reason!!! If you can't get any help from the current Dr. find another one to check your son out. Maybe a partner in the practice, or at another satellite office. Ask for a specialist, tell them straight up you are concerned and they are not doing enough in your opinion! Don't be affraid to tell a Dr. you don't agree, and want a second opinion. There is a Dr. at the office we visit that I refuse to let see or treat my children. Just because they could pass the exams doesn't mean they know it all and know better than you!
You have to feel comfortable with them, you have to be able to trust them, and it seems you do not trust this one.
Good luck.

M.,

Hi. I have not personally dealt with this with my children, however I experienced the headaches like you describe at a very young age first hand. My headaches turned out directly tied to stress. I noticed you said you are a newly single mom. That is a BIG change for your son. Are there any other changes he's had to experience?? Are you living somewhere new, etc, etc.? At five years of age he probably doesn't really know how to express all of the emotions/stress that he's feeling right now, so it's coming out in the form of a headache. As a precautionary measure the doctor had me have a catscan and an eeg to be sure there weren't issues with my brain causing the headaches. If you think it could be more than just stress, perhaps you should inquire about doing something like this to be sure. Good luck!!
A.

M., my now 14 year old was having headaches at 5 and after running a battery of tests that showed nothing, the doctor made the guess that he was having migraines. We kept him out of the sun and this provided relief. He could be in the sun for short periods of time, but not for things like recess etc. You might give that a try.

Infinite Blessings!

I don't now what your insurance will cover, but if it was me I would take him to a different Dr. very soon. I would have maybe taken him to urgent care after having the headache for three days and vomiting. Even for a five year old there are allergy meds. You may want to start keeping a log of what he has had to eat, what enviroment he was in(someone smoking, around some kind of animal,ect.) and what the weather was like out when he has his headaches. This can help Dr.s narrow things down some. You may want to ask the Dr. to have some allergy tests done. He is too little to let suffer with this and it could be something more evere. Don't let our Dr. undermind your motherly instincts.

hi M., i myself haven't had to deal with anything like this before.my neice's son does tho,he just recently was diagnosed with being almost completly deaf in 1 ear and patially deaf in the other.at first they thought it was allergies.they were running all kinds of test.he was having severe headaches and would also get nausea.hopefully your dr.can figure something out for u guys.hope i could be of some help and good luck!

Hi, I would take him to a chiropracter. When your spine is not aline it can cause lots of problems. When I have a mirgrane I go and get adjusted and it is gone within a minute! Also I found certain foods like sugar free that has aspartine sp? in it and low fat foods have something also like the snakewell cookies. Alot of insurances do pay for it now.

Hi there....
I started to have migraines when I was 4. Mine were mostly caused by cigarette smoke....I had a step-dad at the time who smoked in the house and in the car with us. A lot of other things caused them too.....not getting enough sleep, getting too much sleep, not eating when I was hungry, 'rough housing', riding bumper cars, riding roller coasters, riding jet skis, eating chocolate, nuts, and cheese. The sun also gave me headaches.

In high school, I had a headache every single day....and on average 2 migraines a week. Life was miserable. I was put on a medicine....can't remember the name, but it didn't help that much. I've learned to stay away from things that cause them. I have vomitted with them too.

Go with your gut. See a different doctor. I saw a neurologist in high school. Please don't let your son suffer like I did for MANY years....it's not fun at all!!

Definately trust your mother's instincts. It never hurts to get a second and third opinion

i would advise you to get a second or third opinion and if that doesn't help i would go to the health food store to see if they have natural tinctures or even a herbal tea that is safe for children to take headaches are very painful and it can come from the foods the child eats which would be food allergies or seasonal allergies ,stress theirs different types of headaches but they come to warn us to listen to our bodies because somethings wrong and we need to pay attention.it sounds viral but im not sure i hope ive helped in some way be blessed .

M.,

I would tell the doctor that you want him to refer you to a specialist. Just to be safe. I would want my child to have a head scan to make sure nothings wrong.

hi M.,
i suffered from migraines from a very early age. i would have them daily and they did effect my appetite and would make me sick to my stomach. i was never taken to a doctor or specialist, i just lived through it. my migraines have subsided since i moved away from home, i now only get them 2 or 3 times a year instead of daily. the only factor in my life that has changed is that i am not exposed to cigarette smoke anymore, so i have a feeling that was the culprit for mine. however i have also heard that nitrites and nitrates in cured meats (bologna, hotdogs, etc) can trigger them, along with some other dietary factors you may want to check into. it may be something as simple as eliminating a certain type of food that will cure him of his headaches! good luck to you and your son!

First thing that popped into my mind was that it sounds like he's getting migraines. I would seek a second opinion, and put the migraine idea out there. If it IS that, then you can find ways to possibly avoid them. Certain foods (chocolate, bananas for example) or additives in foods (like MSG <monosodium glutamate, found in most flavored chips and meats and frozen foods>, nitrates, and colors) could be his triggers. Google migraine food triggers, and you will get a list of tons of things that are surprising triggers.
I agree with the mom who said to keep a food journal. Let your son eat as he normally does. Don't withhold anything on those food lists from him. See if a migraine coincides with a food he has eaten. If it has, the next time the family eats that food, keep it from your son. Offer him something else, see what happens. This is also what a dr. will tell you to do, to pinpoint the 'allergies'. So get a head start on it, while waiting for an appointment.
good luck. I feel for your son. I get migraines and they're no picnic.

Hi M., From M.:-)
My headaches have really helped since going to Chiropractor, Dr. Brett Blitzstein ###-###-#### on Powell Rd in Powell. I drive 45 minutes to him because he is great with me and my little girls. He does a NO CRACKING adjustment, more like a massage and it really makes a huge difference. he is great with all ages and has a "Pay only what you can afford policy" - no questions asked, he just wants everyone to be able to afford quality chiro. care. If you get his answering machine, please leave a message, he will call back soon, He is open Mon-Sat. I highly recommend you try him, I believe your child will feel better soon with him.

my son gets migraines n thats what it sounds like he has so u need to find him a new dr that will do something i know its a pain in the butt to do but u need to do whats best for ur child....A.

Hi M.,
I have read everyone's responses and I agree with everyone. Migraines can be very complex. I had migraines as a child and I would suggest the catscan, MRI, or EEG. Hopefully nothing will be found. In most cases nothing is. I wanted to respond to you because nobody mentioned the dentist. I would do this first. I went through all of the above and it ended up being from griding my teeth. It may even be teeth shifting or TMJ. I hope this helped.

Hi. I know what your son is going through. As a child i had severe miagrains as well. There was no real reason as to why. And my mother did everything the docs told her. They did put me on a medication that did help. But it took at keast 20 minutes to work. But when i was 10 i developed epilepsy and was put on depakote and i stopped having the migrains. At the time no one knew that it helped people who had them. I do know that a child can be put on depakote. I am not sure how young though. It might be worth asking about. The only down side is that he would have to take it eneryday, but if it works it's not so bad. Good luck, jocey

My advice...change doctors if yours isn't listening...there are too many out there to settle for one that won't listen. ALso, even if it is allegies, he can't go on being miserable. Best of luck.

I'm not sure what advice I can give, but my daughter also gets headaches. She's 6 and it started when she was 5. If she gets really upset, she gets a headache. Sometimes she just gets one out of the blue and not sure why. I haven't undergone any tests, but my sister used to get migraines when she was younger too. I figure it's the same thing. My sister outgrew them. She used to black out sometimes and once she lost vision for a few hours.

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