48 answers

8 Year Old Boy with Recurring Headaches

I have an 8 year old boy who complains of headaches nearly every day. I usually give him a liquid pain killer which seems to do the trick. My first thought on chasing down a cause is to get his eyes tested. He gets an annual physical each year and his vision has never been a problem but it's the first thing I thought of. What other possibilities should I be pursuing?

Thanks you!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow. 57 responses and counting. Thank you all very much for taking the time to respond. I'm convinced now that the headaches are dehydration related. He says he drinks water at school but he also says he gets more headaches on days when he has gym -- when he's really working up a sweat. Also, 2 of the days he complained of headaches he had actually banged his head while playing B-ball. This last week he was home with a virus that's going around and I kept him hydrated -- no headaches. I'm getting his eyes checked anyway but I don't think we have anything more serious going on. Thanks again to all.

Featured Answers

Hi P.,

I would consider a chiropractor. When things are out of alignment, they can certainly cause headaches.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

You have received some really good advise. I would like to
add the name of someone that has really helped my daughter.

Evolution Therapeutics
Holistic Occupational Therapy Services
Specializing in pediatric health and development
Adult health and well-being

Heather Mulcahey MA OTR/L on SW Capital Highway,Portland
Email: ____@____.com
Phone : 503- ###-###-####

A doctor visit and optometrist visit sound like good places to start. I had to start wearing glasses at age 7, and headaches were one of the clues. Best wishes to you!

More Answers

PLEASE insist that his doctor do a CT scan!! My son complained of headaches throughout his childhood years and doctors repeatedly called it growing pains, possible vision problems, attention deficit, etc., etc. They dismissed his problems and sent us home time after time with no resolution. As he grew, he had learning and behavioral problems in school because of the recurring pain, and over time his headaches became so severe he would get physically sick and get dehydrated. When he was 18 he lost vision in his right eye and FINALLY an ER doctor did a CT scan. He had a brain tumor the size of a softball. Doctors said it was not malignant, but had been growing probably since he was a toddler. Surgery was successful, but at 32 years old he still has some problems with balance and processing information.
I don't want to scare you, but a CT scan is such a simple procedure - doesn't hurt and is quick to do. For your own peace of mind, and to rule out a brain tumor that is all-too-common in children, I strongly recommend you make sure by insisting on this test.
Best wishes to you and to your son.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi P.,

I would consider a chiropractor. When things are out of alignment, they can certainly cause headaches.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

I would definitely get the eyes checked first. I am an optometrist and I see many school aged children who have headaches caused from their eyes. When looking for an eye doctor (either optometrist or ophththalmologist) make sure you look for one that evaluates not only their clarity of vision (20/20, etc.) but also how their eyes function when stressed at school (their focusing system, eye movement skills, and eye teaming ability). Also it is important that the eye doctor dilate their pupils to look at the health of the retina, optic nerve, etc.
If the eye doctor does not find that the eyes are causing the headaches they can point you in the right direction of what to do next.
I hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello P.,
how long have these headaches been going on, when did they start? How much water does he drink each day? Dehydration, constipation, environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies and other factors could be contributing to the headaches. there are too many unknowns to understand what may be "causing" the headaches. You want to find the cause, you're treating symptoms with the medicine which is masking the underlying problem/cause of the headaches. Start with hydration, full hydration formula is: have him drink half his body weight in ounces of clean water,3 to 4 ounces every 20 minutes, when he wakes up ,not while eating, then finish 1 hour before bed. what is his diet like? I can make suggestions if I know more. Are you interested in holistic therapies that deal with the cause and helping him heal or traditional treatment/therapy. Let me know. take care.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter did not have the headaches but some how passed the school eye exams but really has bad eyes. she also managed to pass the eye chart test at the eye doctor office. When they dialated her eyes and did the full exam she definately needs glasses So I would definately get them check to rule it out.

1 mom found this helpful

I would take him to the pediatrician first and if they don't find anything I would take him to a naturopath dr to see if it is allergies from food or the additives in the food. My little sister was getting headaches from all the preservatives and dyes in the food when she was younger. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

lololol-- Your husband knows an INCREDIBLE deal when he has one --- FIVE children- from little to nearly adult--- Good grief - and good for you. Regarding your 8 -- ( Oh, they are so sweet and dear and fiesty) - check out allergies-- stress ( is he being bullied or stresssed at school?) - be persistant --and keep your ears tuned. Is he really close to one of the older children?? -- Could you ask one of them to sound him out?? -- If there is a bullying situation that he is ashamed of ( Kids are ashamed about things that they have NOOOOO need to be ) ---he may confide in an older sib-. P.- you are amazing- you'll get to the bottom of it-
You and yours are in my prayers--

Old Mom
aka-- J.

1 mom found this helpful

Having a 7 yo girl who stresses out, my first thought would be stress. Schools are typically loud, chaotic, and frantic. And then he comes home to a full house that can't be quiet. Is he the type that needs more calm? You might address that and see if that changes anything. Is he thinking repetitively about something that is bothering him? Does he have troubling dreams? I have found that dreams can lead me to what I am feeling: scared, insecure, lost, etc. The content or objects of the dream are rarely significant.

A non-sugary diet is very helpful. Several food additives can give kids fits of trouble too. Namely, high fructose corn syrup (also labeled modified corn starch), any dyes, and msg. Try and take these out to see if this has an affect.

Oh lets not forget a big one, dehydration! Many kids, mine included, forget to drink! Especially at school. I remember reading somewhere something like 80% of all headaches are due to inadequate water intake.

I agree that vision, allergies, and chiropractic misalignment might be issues too.

If there is any fever, or stiffness to the neck, call the doc right away.

Oh, Hyllands homeopathic remedies has something for stress for kids. They work with the body to help it cure itself instead of masking the issue. Very gentle and safe. You might try something like that. It eases the biggest up and downs in our house with many issues!

Best of wishes,

1 mom found this helpful

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