17 answers

I Have a Five Year Old Having Repeated Headaches...

My five year old daughter is continually getting headaches and the doctor cannot find a reason as to why she is having them. If anyone out there has any clue what could be causing these headaches, please help. She is not on any medication, does not need glasses, no allergies to my knowledge. She is missing so much school because of these headaches, please help!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, I had to go and pick my daughter up at school again yesterday because of, you guessed it, another headache. She had a severe headache on saturday, to where she couldn't move, open her eyes, and every little noise bothered her. So I had her lay in "mommy's" bed with the curtains drawn, gave her a dose of children's motrin, and she fell asleep, two hours later she was fine. My daughter has an appointment to get a CT scan this thursday. Here's hoping they can find what's causing the headaches and fix the problem. Thank you everyone for your help, it's greatly appreciated! I'll let everyone know how her CT scan comes out. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Hi M..
Has her doctor done any other diagnostic tests, such as a cat scan. I don't want to scare you, but until all the tests are done, you won't know what it is.
Also, like the other response, it could be migraines.
Good luck!

More Answers

Hello M.,
If I were you I would get a consult with a Neurologist. It's better to be safer than sorry. It is very uncommon for a child at that age to get headaches. Also take her to an Opthamologist to get her eyes tested. The common Snellen Eye Exam cannot guarentee that there are underlying issues. Don't stop seeking medical care just because one doctor say there is nothing wrong. Good luck and I hope things get better!!

1 mom found this helpful

i dont know what could cause thembut i do know that a 2 and a half yr old at my church gets migraines and that if he tells us(in childcare during church services) that we are to put his number up because if it gets too bad he will get sick. also look into sinus issues. ive had sinus problems since i was a child... finally thanks to my awesome ENT at portsmouth naval, i was bale to have sinus surgery and when i do get sinus infection they are far less worse than theynormally are. just an idea.

Children, even as young as your daughter, can have migraine headaches. I would recommend that you take your child to a pediatric neurologist. They can run some tests and be able to determine more what is causing the headaches. There are medications on the market that should be able to help. Good luck.

Hi M.. If you have exhausted all of the medical avenues available to you, I would look at what's happening at school. My son had repeated stomach aches complete with diarrhea that turned out to be because he was being bullied at school and didn't want to go. He also wouldn't do his homework because he knew that he'd have to stay in at recess to make it up, therefore avoiding the bully. He was 9 at the time.

I tell you this story so that you understand that I'm not saying it's "all in her head." Sometimes kids have real physical symptoms that are a way to cope with a problem they can't control. I would certainly have her tested as far as I could to rule out some serious medical conditions. Then I think I'd have a frank talk with her teacher.

Good luck with this, it's no fun when our kids are in pain. I hope she feels better soon.

I once heard another parent describe virtually this exact situation. The child ended up going to a nutritionist and it was determined that it was her diet. She was eating peanut butter sandwiches almost every day, and she was not allergic or anything, her diet just had too much or too little of something. In the absence of any other symptoms or health problems, perhaps you could explore this possibility with your regular doc. Keep a journal of the foods your child eats for a week or so. Don't know if its the right answer, but it's something to consider.

Good luck!

Does she get headaches when she's not at school, say on weekends when she wants to do something fun? I know nothing of your daughters condition but was just wondering if it is a response to something stressful or fearful at school, a physiological response to an external problem? wish you the best!

My son had these and I had to FIND the issue myself... the doctors told us alllll the same things you have been told... but, doing my OWN trial and error.. I found it was allergies to certain foods. CORN (any corn product, including popcorn and corn oil) is a MAJOR headache causer for MANY people including kids... also CHOCOLATE! My son learned quickly that even though he loves these things, he steers clear of them. The little boy next door found that he is slightly LACTOSE intollerant, and that causes him headaches... ALSO, old pillows, dustmites, or even MOLD any where in the house can cause headaches... We are VERY clean people, but once when my husband and I were constantly waking up with headaches I finally started doing everything to find what it was. Bought new pillows, sheets, etc, washed everything every other day,... then when doing my regular weekly house cleaning I went to dust all the blinds... I raised them up to find... you got it MOLD growing all across the BOTTOM of the window... once that was washed off we no longer had the morning headaches. weird huh! Pet dander can cause it to... she may not be allergic to the animal, but when it's so dry in the winter time pets have a lot more dander... I use Head and SHoulders on our dog in the winter time!!! Just try these things and see... and let the teachers know so that they can also help... no point in NO chocolate or corn at home if the teacher gives it out! .. peanuts.. thats another source... do take them ALL away for a month... let her know she didnt' do anything wrong you just want to see if any are causing the headaches...if they don't go away it's something else.. if they do, then you put ONE thing at a time back into her diet (one a week). hope this helps.. .it sure helped my son.

My daughter was having headaches everyday for a long time and her regular doctor said she didn't know why either. Of all people the school nurse let me know of some problems that might be in the house and foods that she was eating that might cause problems too. I put her on Children's Claritin once a day and she has not had problems since. The Children's Claritin was a life saver! I was unable to come up with any foods but Hepa filter in your HVAC (heating and air conditioning) system might also help. I hope that this helps you and your daughter.

I am 31 years old and have suffered from migraine headaches since I was a baby. It sounds to me like your daughter has migraines. I would leave school early, my mom often did my homework for me, I would vomit... this happened 1 to 3 times a week, almost always on Mondays.

As an adult, I am aware that a regular schedule (even on weekends) is the key to avoiding migraines. Additionally, there were many 'trigger' foods that would cause migraines, I can remember peanut butter and raw onions were big triggers.

Migraines do not have to be hereditary, however they are for me. Both sides of my family have migraines, fortunately I'm the only one of the grandchildren on both sides that gets them.

Please be patient with her when she is 'sick'. Migraines are debilitating. Treatment is available and through the years, I have been on preventative therapy (topomax) and also medicine to take when I got them (maxalt, amerge,...). OTC meds did not work. However, I am pregnant at this time and cannot take anything ( I have to suffer through any that occur!)

Best of luck to you and your daughter. PLEASE see a neurologist for treatment options.

Hello M., I have a six year old who was recently complaining of headaches, I took her to our doctor and he suggested an eye exam, it turned out that my little one has astigmatism in both eyes and just needed glasses for school.
hopw this helps.

L. R.
married mother of one.

Hi M.,

I agree with some of the other posters. Take her to a neurologist and have her checked for migraines. I have them and can remember having them when I was really young...around 4 or 5. I remember laying on the couch or bed crying because my head hurt so much. Back then, if I could fall asleep, I could usually get rid of them. My doctor thought they were sinus headaches. I didn't get properly diagnosed until college. The tests were simple (walk down the hall, check reflexes, etc). Life is much better with the proper treatment. ALso, they can give you a list of things that might be triggering the headaches. It could be something she's eating (milk, eggs, and yeast are the most common) or something she smelling (plants, perfumes, cleaning chemicals). Even though I'm not allergic to it, eucalyptus gives me migraines. There are some cleaning chemicals that do it, too.

Good luck!!

I had the same problem with my daughter when she was going on 6yrs old. For two to three weeks she complained of headaches off and on and I couldn't figure out why either. She would say her head hurt and then 5 mins later running around like normal! So I blew it off for the most part or would tell her to lay down in her room for a while. Well a few months after she stopped complaining she had her dental check-up and the nurse told me that her upper 6yr molars had come in!! I asked her if those coming in would cause her to have headaches and she said it is very possible. Then it dawned on me how my head and sinuses were affected when my upper wisdom teeth started coming in!! So I marked it up to her molars coming in that caused her head to hurt from the pressure of them pushing. Hope this helps you!! I know it is hard when our kids don't feel good and we can't figure out the reason why so we can make it better!!


If the doctor could not find anything, the next thing I would do is take her to the eye doctor. If her eyes are working over time and straining this will cause headaches. Hope this helps.

I also have an 8 yr old daughter with continious headaches. But, she vomits with hers. The peditrician said if it continues that imitrex has been authorized by the fda for use in childrem. You may want to suggest this to your MD. Also, the md also recommended a MRI if the Imitrex did not work. However we have not go to the imitrex point. Keep a log as to how severe they are based on a 1-10 scale, duration, and the dates.This way here they have som info. to go on. Good Luck!

Since you have ruled out the glasses ask your doctor if its possible she has migraines. While 5 is young 9 is not uncommon at all.

Hi M..
Has her doctor done any other diagnostic tests, such as a cat scan. I don't want to scare you, but until all the tests are done, you won't know what it is.
Also, like the other response, it could be migraines.
Good luck!

M. - have you had her tested for Lyme Disease? My daughter has Lyme and suffers from severe headaches. Let me know what you find out and if she does I can help you with some do's and don'ts (believe me we tried it all!) The other suggestion of a neurologist is a good one too - but most doctors miss Lyme and if that's what it is the faster it gets treated the fast the results. D.

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