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Need Advice! 4 Yr Old Daughter Complains of Headaches

Recently, in the last month or so my daughter, who is 4 has been complaining of headaches. Has anyone else had experience with this? Last week she had a fever of 102 and said her head hurt, but she said her whole body hurt too, so I didn't think much of it. I gave her Motrin and Tylenol for her fever and by the next day she was fine. Tonight, she said "I have a cramp in my head" and points to her forehead. This is going on about 4 times now in the last 4-5 weeks that she's said her head hurts. She says it hurts "really really bad". What could be causing a 4 year old to have headaches? Any advice is appreciated. I haven't given her any Tylenol or anything for a headache, she hates taking medicine, and says she doesn't want any even when I tell her it'll help her "cramp in her head". I have migraines occasionally... but isn't 4 too young to be inheriting this? Please help!! Thanks!

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Thanks everyone.. I am calling the Dr. today to make an appointment. As far as the comment about "why don't you just call the Dr."? Well, I wanted to see if I was being paranoid or not. I tend to be a hypocondriac, and I have been labled that at the Dr.'s office before. So, I am trying not to be that way with my kids... I don't want them thinking I'm a "crazy" mom who thinks their kid is going to die every week!! Thank you all for the support and advice.. I'll let you know what happens.

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Has she had any fillings in her teeth? If so, they can caust problems because of toxicity or allergies. I think it would warrant a doctor visit just to rule out anything seriously wrong. I had occasional migraines at 4 and 5 years old... I think it was heat, dehydration and not being used to being around lots of people.

L. C.

My son had migrains at that age. I would get calls to come and pick him up at pre-school. I would give him motrin and out him to bed. I would make his room as dark as possible. He would usually sleep through the night. The next day he would be fine. He used get them about once a month. Now he only gets them about twice a year. Hope that helps you.

I have an 41/2 yr old son he complains of headaches every now and then I do belive water is good to offer since he goes with out sometimes to busy playing and when it is offered he takes a sip and off he goes but another signal for me is when he sounds like he is talking through his nose I have taken him in a few times to see the dr and yep allergies he is clogged up one time it was both sinuses and ears no antibiotic just prescription allergy medicine and cleared up within a week.Also food sugar and stress will cause headaches hope it's nothing serious.Sahm of 2 kids

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I asked my ped the same questestion when my daugther was 2. Answer...no she's not to young. It's rare, but not unheard of. Call the doc and make an appt and have her checked out. Keep a log of date/time she gets a headache, what she ate before got the headace, what you gave her to relieve the headache and if or how well it worked. I pray for you and your daughter. I know the pain. Take Care!

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I have 2 children that had migraines at that age. My oldest son would go to his room and lay in the dark with his head covered up and cry. He would say the light hurt his eyes. My youngest son has complained of headaches since he was about that age. But, considering the fact that you cannot see inside the head I would take her to the doctor. 4 in 4 weeks are too many. CALL your pediatrician or family doctor, whichever the case may be, and get her in immediately. I don't want to scare you, but you can never be too safe when it comes to your children. Good luck. By the way, if it is migraines, there are preventative medications they can give her.

1 mom found this helpful

My son has been having migraines since he was 2. An early sign, according to his neurologist, was the car sickness he had as an infant until he was diagnosed with the migraines. The only thing that is different is the temperature. I would get a referral to a pediatric neurologist. Just don't be surprised if you cannot get an appointment for a couple of months. You should also watch to see what she has had to eat prior to the headaches. My son's migraines are triggered by hot dogs, Doritos (or any snack similar to them, anything with nitrates or MSG. Also high humidity. Keep a log. Good luck!

Whatever you do, please do not take her complaints lightly. I myself deal with migraines, and I have since before I even knew what a headache was. I too was very young (around 5 or so)and if my mother had acted on it, I may not have the problems that I have today with bad headaches almost on a daily basis and actual migraines once or twice a week. Please talk to her pediatrician, maybe they can get an early control. Since she won't take medicine (nor will my daughter), your doc may opt for injections. If she will take Tylenol, give her that, but if she refuses, try giving her a cold pack or warm pack for her head. Lavender oil or peppermint oil may also help take the edge off.

I would have your pediatrician AND eye doctor examine. My sons eyes were overlooked at pediatrician. Your little one might be straining to see. Or, stress? I don't think that it is "normal" for kids to get headaches so I'd have it checked.

Good Morning C.,
My neice had the exact same problem at the age of two and my sister after my consideration and research took her to a chiropractor. Come to find out her little spine was out-of-wack and was pinching a nerve causing all these headaches. She was adjusted (not like you think an adult is adjusted) and never complained again. She is 8 years old now and she and her mom and sister go routinely. They have in the past 6 years only been sick once and that was with the chicken pox. And headaches? Not an issue anymore. I hope this helps. It may be the way to go since your precious one doesn't like to take medicine. Good luck!

-K.

Dear C.,
I have no previous experience with this. But it sounds like it might be a warning signal for the doctor. Aside from making sure she has no fever, you could try some "ambient" changes to see if that affects her comfort level... try less direct lighting in the room, avoid using perfumes or chemicals near her, lightly massage her upper back with small therapeutic circles (could be neck strain or "sleeping wrong" on her neck or head), and make sure she isn't having vision problems (either from straining to see or from irregular things in her field of vision). Even though you might want to experiment and see if you can isolate the problem, you should also definitely take her to a doctor to make sure it's nothing more serious. You never really want to mess with headaches. The only other thing I thought of is that she might quite possibly be imitating you if she hears you complain of headaches (and perhaps the fever was a fluke?). Anyway, good luck in finding a solution to her seeming discomfort. Take care,
K.

My daughter had that problem too from little. My husband had the problem when he was a child, so said we needed to take red dyes out of her diet (drinks mostly). It was a constant problem, but when we did that, it immediately solved it. She knew growing up to stay away of red dyes and she is 16 now, but she still avoids them saying every time she will get a headache.

You may want to get her vision tested. Maybe her straining to see is causing the headaches. Just a thought.

Have you seen the pediatrician?

Cari,
I would take your daughter in to her pediatrician and have her checked out. Flu season is finished and the symptons she had last week could be viral or something else. Have you had her vision checked. There is a program called SEE to Learn that offers free eye exams for preschoolers and sometimes headaches are signs of eye strain, your local optomitrist or school district should have more information. Good luck, keep us posted.

Good Morning C., I would take her to her Pedi. and have her checked very throughly. Usually a child this age doesn't understand pain like a headache. Since she does have her checked soon.

Let us know how she does and what you find out.
Praying for your precious angel
K.

I also have this problem with my kids. All 3 of them get headaches often especially during the school year. A doctor told me they can get headaches from not drinking enough water and is a sign of dehydration but with my kids I think the flourescent lighting at school causes them most of the time as I also get headaches or feel nausea, and sometimes feel like I will pass out if I don't get outside for some fresh air when I am in Wal-mart or other places with a lot of flourescent lighting. I usually can't be in a store longer than 30 minutes.
They don't get as many headaches during the summer break so think the lighting has a lot to do with it.

I would take her to a doctor as this is not normal!!!!

Hi, C.. I have a friend whose daughter had headaches at this age. She did take her to the doctor. I know the mom had migraines at an early age and they thought this might be occuring with her daughter. I would talk to the doctor, and continue to give her Tylenol for the pain. It is always better to check out things with the doctor than wonder. Good Luck.

Cari, this sounds very serious. If you are giving her water, if she has had any kind of accidents, you should take her to the doctor. Its better to get it checked out now!

If anyone in the family has a history of migraines then I'd have her checked out. When she gets the headaches and the light hurts her eyes or even the slightest sound hurts her ears then I'd go to your doctor. My son suffers from migranes and they typically start around the ages or 3 or 4

My son had migrains at that age. I would get calls to come and pick him up at pre-school. I would give him motrin and out him to bed. I would make his room as dark as possible. He would usually sleep through the night. The next day he would be fine. He used get them about once a month. Now he only gets them about twice a year. Hope that helps you.

My son went through this when he was 5. They got so bad he would start crying and eventually throw up. I was terrified. I took him to a neurologist, he ran a bunch of test to rule out anything serious and concluded that he has childhood migrains. He said the fact that I get them even though not very often, my children will likely get them also. They have gotten much better but he still gets them once in a while. I'm convinced it has something to do with what he eats or a food alergy. It seemed that a lot of times it happened after he drank red or orange color juice so I dont let him have those any longer.

I went through this just last year with my daughter. She started having head aches in March she said her head hurt then would point to a spot right in the center of her forhead. She would spike a feaver between 100.1 and 101.5 (under the arm) Then she would throw up. The feaver would disapper as would the head ache. This went on for several months. It seemed to always happen around the same date. Well after about the second month I called the doctor. He said to keep a journal of everything that she ate, anything that she/ I did when she said her head hurt. I did all that and around Aug. she woke up one night said her head hurt got her into the bathroom she threw up then went right back to bed and to sleep. I called the doctor that next morning. He called me back a short time latter and said he wanted her seen by a nurologist. Well that sent off alarm bells in me because this whole time he had not been too concerned. It also sent off alarm bells because of how fast he called me after I left the message for him. I usually have to wait till the end of the day for him to return calls. Well we saw the nurologist who scheduled her for an MRI. She had the MRI and nothing showed up. That month was the last time she has complained of her head hurting. I was prepared for it to all start over again this year thinking that it might have been allergies. My doctor also had me give her 2 chewable Motrin tablets everytime she would tell me her head hurt. He wanted me to give them to her before she threw up just to see if that would help her. We never did find out what was causing them but we did keep a close eye on her around the 17th of each month because that was when it would start. Her doctor said it could be migrains that she might start to develop now in time with that time of the month for her when she gets old enough. Man I hope that is not the case.
Long story short No you daughter is not too young to suffer from migrains. Yes migrains can be inherited. I would start keeping a food journal if this is happening on a regular basis. I would also call her doctor to see what he wants you do to if it is happening so many times a week.

Has she had any fillings in her teeth? If so, they can caust problems because of toxicity or allergies. I think it would warrant a doctor visit just to rule out anything seriously wrong. I had occasional migraines at 4 and 5 years old... I think it was heat, dehydration and not being used to being around lots of people.

L. C.

Maybe you should get her eyes checked. Also, has she had a tick bite? You might want to check her body for ticks because I just read at the MayoClinic website that Rocky Mountain Spotted fever can occur without a rash, and causes fever and joint pain. Hopefully that's not it, but antibiotics do clear it up. It's probably worth a trip to the doctor...

have you tried checking for glasses?

Hi,

It could be something as simple as allergies...I would have her looked at by her Dr just in case. My daughter went thru a period of about a year with headaches and I eventually took her to a neurolgist about it since it kept going on & he agreed she should have a MRI to rule out tumors. He said in little ones he just likes to be safe rather than sorry. They can also look into their eyes to look for signs or issues with tumors I think but with my daughter she has a light sensitivity & he could not get a good look. Her pediatrician blew us off so if yours does that & you still are worried go to someone else like I did at least you can know for sure there's not a problem and rule things out. If you think she may have allergies then you can try some over the counter meds for that but check with her Dr to get the correct dosage for her weight. I've also heard & read that kids seem to have alot of headaches for a period of time. Some kids outgrow it & others do not. Since you have migraines it is possiable she has inherited that I know when I had to fill out a form with alot of questions on it there was one asking if either of her parents had migraines.. anyway I always feel it's better safe than sorry and so important with kids because they can't communicate things too well especially at that age. If it was a one time thing that's something else but since she keeps having them I would check into it further.

Good luck!

L.

P.S. If you need to see a pediatric neurologist Dr. Mantovanti is who my daughter see's & their office is great they get you in quickly it's their policy to get you in within a week I believe. Office is at St. John's Hosp # ###-###-####

I would take her in for a head CT scan. Better to be safe than sorry.

hi C.! i just thougt i'd give you a little tidbit a therapist told me once. if you have the child sit, you stnd behind her with your fingers interlaced, now place your palms on top of her head and press down, firmly. it will roll her head back... just a bit, there's a gazillion nerve endings at the base of our heads and that relives a lot of pressure. (then maybe your hubby will do it for you,too!)

I have an 41/2 yr old son he complains of headaches every now and then I do belive water is good to offer since he goes with out sometimes to busy playing and when it is offered he takes a sip and off he goes but another signal for me is when he sounds like he is talking through his nose I have taken him in a few times to see the dr and yep allergies he is clogged up one time it was both sinuses and ears no antibiotic just prescription allergy medicine and cleared up within a week.Also food sugar and stress will cause headaches hope it's nothing serious.Sahm of 2 kids

Could it be associated with cleaning times? Many of the chemicals in cleaning products (yes, "green" products too) are toxic. The more we are around them the more it builds up in our bodies and can produce headaches, body aches, breathing problems, etc. Since I've switched to Melaleuca, which have absolutely no toxins in their products, all of us are feeling and breathing better. If you want more info just let me know or go under Meleleuca.com for a tour. I highly recommend them.
____@____.com
Blessings,
P.

I'm alsways amazed at those of us who have medical issues with our children and don't call the doctor. I don't see why you just don't put in a call to your doc's nurse or nurse practitioner and let her help you evaluate whether she needs to see the doc. 4-5 weeks is a long time for headaches!

My daughter was 3 when she had her first migraine. She screamed and then threw up and then slept. Classic signs. Two days later she had another on and off to the doctors we went.

Hon, if your doctor's office dismisses this then change doctors. You don't deserve to be treated badly.
I hope it isn't migraines, but there are things in their diet that can set them off.
God bless

I have a grandson who is now 14 years old, but when he was younger he also complained of terrible headaches. First we thought he was just saying this for attention. He was taken to the doctor and it was always the same thing---he has a sinus infection or else it was allergies. He was like this for a couple of years and finally he had such a severe headache that he just dropped to the concrete floor and laid with his eyes shut to try to get some relief. At this point he was taken to the doctor immediately and they had decided he should have a cat scan of his sinuses. They thought he possibly might have some problem there. We were totally shocked to find that he had a cyst or small tumor behind his right eye in the temple area.
He was scheduled for surgery a.s.a.p. and luckily for us it was a cyst between the brain and the skull. We had the number one brain surgeon thru out the country at Childrens Hospital in St. Louis, Mo who did his surgery.He actually was opened up from the top of his ear up to the top of his head alongside the temple area. What was happening to him is that the cyst would fill with fluid which would cause him to have the severe pain in his head. It would hit hit him just all of a sudden.
He is now almost 15 years old and has no problems any longer, and no problems from the surgery.

Just a thought- but it could be an eye strain/vision problem. My little brother when he was around 5 or 6 started having headaches- kids that age really do not know the difference between good and bad eyesight if there is a problem- occassionally he would blink from time to time and that with the headaches was a signal to get his eyes checked-he has been wearing glasses ever since then!
It could be or not be related to your daughter's problem but it is something to consider. Does she complain of her eyes hurting?

Another possibility is sinus/allergy problems which causes kids to have "pressure" headaches too. This is something I dealt with a lot as a kid and it has only gotten worse as I have gotten older. My nieve who is 2 years old already has been diagnosed with allergies to the cat so no age is too young for sinus and allergies unfortunatly. Good luck!

You posted questions about your son,too, and I'm wondering if your daughter is picking up on the struggle you are having with your son. Children are very aware of conflict and this could be related to that stress between mom and son. I do agree that she should be checked esp. vision or sinus. God bless.

It could be a sinus infection. Fevers will occure sometimes but not always. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take her to the doctor. Not that this is always the case, my nephew had a mis diagnosed sinus infection that went to his brain causing menengitis, and needless to say he is no longer with us.
There is a possibility of allergies as well, these can cause headaches with the occasional fever, and also cause sinus infections. I would err on the side of caution and take her to her pediatrician.

I am a believer in Chiropractic. I started taking my year old twins to the chiropractor with me when they came home from the hospital at 2 months (they were preemies). They are very healthy, and have only had mild colds. Chiropractic promotes health as compared to regular doctors who treat symptoms. In fact, I had headaches (not migraines, thank goodness) at least 3 times a week before I started going to a chiropractor about 3 years ago. Now, I might get one headache a month, if that. Best wishes to you and your daughter!

I think I would start keeping track of when she is having the headaches. The journal may help pinpoint why she is having them. Or it may show she is pretending to have a headache to get out of something she doesn't want to do. The reason I mention this is because my two little guys will try to trick me by pretending their tummies hurt. Hopefully she is not pulling this one.

I would also check with the doctor. I feel that a 4 yr old should not be having headaches this often. One a week sounds pretty frequent to me, but I don't get very many headaches.

Does she have caffiene every day? If so, the lack of caffiene will cause headaches. Food allergies is something that may also be the reason.

I hope I have helped some.

Best Wishes,

J. H.

I am not a health care provider, there are obviously a lot of causes of headaches. But, when either of my kids complains of a headache the first thing I do is ask them if they have been drinking any water. Many times, rehydrating solves the problem. It's a thing to try first.

Also, if you feel your daughter needs to take some kind of medicine, you need to make sure she takes it. This is NOT something she should have a say in at 4 years old. In the old days before flavored/liquid medicines, my mom use to crush an aspirin with sugar. It was still nasty, but there wasnt any question that I was taking it.

Dear C.,
From what I was told by my doctor 4-5 is EXACTLY the age the children begin to show migrane behaviors. I would take her to the doctor just as a precaution since she had a fever last week, and to make sure there isn't another explanation. If it is "just" a migraine your pediatrition can also help you determine how to treat her when it occurs so your daughter can get some relief! Hope this helps :)

I am someone who has had headaches my whole life. I remember going to the doctor for it when I was really young. Mine were never migraines, just headaches. I have had an MRI and a CT of my neck, and nothing is wrong. I'm just prone to headaches.

I would definitely take her to the doctor. If you are not satisfied with the response, get a second opinion. This should not be ignored, especially in a child so young.

Something you could do is keep a chart and see if you find any links in her headaches--same time of day, ate same type of food each time, same place on her head, same activities prior to the headache, etc. You might be able to find a clue here.

One other thought is that you might want to get her eyes checked.

Best wishes!

I have several friends who have young kids that have migranes. Have her tested for migranes. It could be just a migrane or something else. Good Luck and God Bless.

I think asking advice is great but when it is a medical issue unless there is a dr replying I really suggest you have her checked out.
Headaches, rashes and pain can be a serious underlying condition that can go untreated and lead to other serious conditions or not but the are you willing to risk it. Please have a proffessional check into her complaints. Good Luck and Happy Health.

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