8 Year Old Has Head Aches All the Time

Updated on April 30, 2015
L.T. asks from USAF Academy, CO
15 answers

My 8 yr old son says every single day that he doesn't feel good. When I ask him what feels bad he says with his head feels "weird" or his head hurts . He even goes go to the nurse at shool for this at least once a week. He has allergies but takes meds and his eyes have been checked and he had 20/20 vision. I really think he may just be trying to get out of things and making it up but I'm afraid if I ignore it something might happen. This has been going on for over a year and doctor has never noticed any thing wrong with mom

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answers from Washington DC on

Absolutely get him checked out ASAP and yes, do track these headaches. Unless you have other, real evidence that he tries to "get out of things" by coming up with excuses, I would not assume that these headaches are just made up. You are right to feel you should not ignore it.

Allergy medications dry you out -- they usually are all about drying up your head and throat etc. and that may be dehydrating him. Combine the fact he's on allery meds with the tendency of many kids this age to forget to drink WATER (or say they don't like water), and he may be dehydrated, even if he never, ever says he feels thirsty. If he drinks any kinds of sodas or even "healthy 100 percent fruit" juices, those all make him feel full of liquid after a relatively small amount, but he's not getting a lot of hydration out of them.

I would start getting a lot more water into him, tracking how much, tracking the frequency and time of day etc. of the headaches and I'd get in to see the doctor. Ask the doctor about blood sugar levels as well, and when to get those tested for the most accurate result. He may have low blood sugar at certain times in the day -- that is another reason to track when he feels the headaches. If they seem to happen a certain amount of time after a meal or snack, he may be having a sugar crash.

Don't wait for the doctor to "notice anything wrong" but be proactive about discussing blood sugar, his eating times and what he eats, hydration, and his current allergy meds.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

push for an answer. period
my parents never did a darn thing for my headaches when i was growing up and it sucked.

when i was living on my own i kept a journal. it had the weather (temp, barrometric presure, sun,rain,etc.) what i ate, my sleep schedule and headache pain scale (1barely a headache to 10 migraine) what meds i took for the headache and if it helped.
thru this journal i learned several things that trigger my headaches. (being hot and cold and back and forth a bunch, dehydration. working to hard when its warm out to name a few)
my aunt swears that carmal coloring in pepsi and coke products will give her a migraine

so keep a journal of the headaches, the foods and such and find the triggers (which may be as simple as an upcomming test)
once you know the triggers you can avoid them and have fewer headaches

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on


Check and see if there is an upper cervical chiropractor in your area. (You can go to upspine.com and find one in your area.) I work for a chiropractor and she has never "lost" a headache case. If you need a referral get back to me and I'll try to help. Headaches are common but not normal. Chiropractic care WILL help. There are many gentle and specific techniques that your eight year old would be comfortable with. My doc is advanced certified in pediatric and prenatal care over and above her doctorate.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would keep every incident documented so you can show the Dr. the frequency.
Document EACH headache with time frequency, pain level, maybe note what the weather was like at that time
When you document, ask your son about the pain level.. you know like they do at the hospital 1-10 with 10 being worst pain ever.
Keep track of all meds that he takes and make sure he gets a lot of water.
Also keep track if any specific foods trigger it.

It is hard to know when a child is faking something. As a parent, you don't want to think they are faking and you don't want a real problem that you are not checking out either.

My daughter, around 8yrs old, went through a phase of not feeling well and I don't know where she heard this but she would say to teachers, nurse, me, anyone who would listen that... "my blood level is low and I need to get something to eat before I pass out"

Well I knew her blood level was ok per the pedi and because it was a part of each checkup. So, after a little while of hearing this, I told daughter, " Every time you tell me your blood level is low, we are going to the Dr. to have a blood draw and check your blood levels". Of course she said "NOOOOO MOOOOMMMM" and I told her "As a responsible parent, when you tell me you have something serious going on in your body, my job is to get you to a Dr and get it taken care of". She is 20 now and has never ever mentioned low blood again. Just food for thought.

Best wishes for your son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I would suggest that you start tracking this on paper. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that might help.

How long has this been going on? Days? Weeks? Months?
Does anything make them better or worse?
What does the pain feel like? Does it go anywhere? Radiate?
How bad is the pain? Is he crying?
How long do the headaches last?
Does he have any allergies?
Could his meds interact adversely with eachother (use the interactions checker on www.drugs.com )
Do you have a family history of migraine?
Is he eating anything before his headaches? Or is he on an empty stomach and in need of food?
What happens during the time leading up to his headaches?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Poor little man! The exact same thing happened to me when I was young. At least once a week in the evenings I would get a very severe headaches. I would know when they were about to start and my parents used to prepare themselves for a very long night. I was checked out head to toe. My vision was checked, lab work done, MRI's and I finally went to a chiropractor who literally "cracked my neck" and I never had the headaches again.

This may not be the case with your son, however my parents never thought to go to a chiropractor. I basically had a pinched nerve that was causing it for years!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Is it always in the same part of his head and, if so, which part? Headaches near the front of the head and behind the eyes can often be related to sinus problems. My friend's daughter turned 8 last week and has been suffering from migraines - she has polyps all through her nasal passages that are causing them.

Lack of sleep, dehydration and poor nutrition can also be causes. Make sure he's taking care of his body. My son (almost 8) gets headaches when he's really tired (as do I).

If he's trying to get out of something, which is certainly possible, that's a different problem entirely. Consider having him talk to a psychologist or school counselor to get to the bottom of it. He may be willing to tell them something that he is scared to tell you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Water, water and more water. Allergy meds and decongestants very often dry you out. And kids do not drink enough water.

Water!!! Water is your friend. If that doesn't help, start taking good notes. What does he eat, what does he drink, how much sleep does he get, notice differences in behavior, what time of day does he usually get the headaches, does he eat a good breakfast, etc. Anything at all that you think could be relevant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

It's probably the meds. I put our guy on allergy meds and he was a different child in a few hours and stayed that way as long as he was on meds. He was sometimes down right mean.

I talked to the pharmacist and he said that kids don't respond to allergy meds like adults do. He said try and think of how my nose feels inside and how my lungs feel inside when I take a full dose of Benadryl. I said dried out and sometimes I get a bloody nose because it's too dried out.

He said that's how it feels to kids too and they don't know enough about their bodies to be able to say that their sinuses are burning or that they are tight and dry or that it hurts to take a deep breath.

So consider that the allergy meds might be making his head hurt.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Make sure he's hydrated. Maybe he needs more water, maybe his allergy meds needs to be switched, or maybe he has migraines. If these things don't help and it goes on too long, ask the doctor for additional guidance/testing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'd take him to an ENT.

My son would have occasional migraines starting last year. We started writing a food journal and once we omitted orange juice, he has never had a problem. After a long time, he had drank orange juice at a friends home. A day later he had a terrible migraine. Hasn't had one since. I'd start a journal to see if their is any food causing this to occur. If not, then ENT, as well as ensure he is well hydrated.



answers from Washington DC on

Consider taking him to the doctor and discussing any other eye problems other than just vision. Try to figure out if there is stress at school, especially if he's going to the nurse. Talk to his teachers about what is going on when he wants to see the nurse. It may be his code for "I'm stressed/someone is bothering me/I'm having a hard time."

Also, don't rule out food allergies or sensitivities. I cannot eat artificial sweeteners, for example. They give me a headache and stomach problems. An allergist visit might be in order.


answers from Santa Fe on

I have pollen allergies and get headaches frequently. I think there is a huge relationship between allergies and headaches. My son (age 11) also has the same problem. I find that if we eat certain foods the headaches are more frequent. So, my son and I both take a Zyrtec daily (children's Zyrtec for him) which helps. Also, we try to drink a lot of water. LOTS of water really helps. The third thing is to really strive to eat only fresh foods. Processed foods like goldfish, many kinds of chips, most crackers, most premade foods all have headache causing ingredients in them. So if you son really wants some chips get unflavored regular potato chips or tortilla chips bc these are just oil and corn or oil and potato. The website that lists the headache causing ingredients is found on msgmyth.com under the tab "hidden names for msg". This is not a food allergy...it's a sensitivity to these ingredients. You have to figure out what foods are triggers...lunchmeats, pepperoni, and ham which have nitrates, dried fruit has sulfides, etc. Everyone is different and I'm sure your son has his own food triggers. Anyway, these things help but don't totally stop all headaches in life...but they help a lot. I agree with other posters that it is good to talk to your doctor...but I have done this many many times without much help. If you find anything else that helps please send me a private message!


answers from Boston on

I think, if this were just a strategy to get out of class, he'd have gotten bored by now. It doesn't sound like a phase. So either he's got a medical condition that this one doctor hasn't found, or there's an emotional issue that isn't being addressed. I had allergies and many headaches for years, and the medications were of no use. I had sinus infections, headaches from endless coughing due to chronic bronchitis, TMJ (which causes jaw pain but also referred pain to the head), and sleep disturbances. I also suffered from clinical depression for years, taking medication for about 15 of those. I'm now off all medications for that and other medical issues, and virtually never have a headache, but I really feel for your son who is clearly miserable. I found a mixture of talk therapy, some uses of medication, and food science were the answer for me. I have several friends with a long history of headaches (migraines, TMJ, tension and other causes) have done well too. In all our cases, food science was the answer and our doctors have supported that avenue because the results are so dramatic in lab work improvements and medication needs eliminated.

I think, if his head feels "weird", that's as much vocabulary as he has right now to describe it. So I think you need to choose a better path than what you've already done. Maybe these allergy meds are helping, maybe they aren't. You've ruled out eyesight issues. But there are many others and I think you should look into a multi-disciplinary approach. A pediatric counselor may be able to get more info out of him and help him develop coping strategies for stress or whatever else is propelling him emotionally. You may need more investigation into medical causes for the headaches - spinal alignment, jaw issues, sleep problems, sinus issues are just some of them. That might mean a couple of medical specialists to rule things out - but they have to work together as a team. I think it's a balance though, because too much med-speak can be overwhelming and stress-inducing.



answers from Dallas on

Try going to a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy), who is trained in Osteopathic Manipulation (my hubby's in school for this now). It's basically an MD with additional training in nerve/spinal/lymph manipulation, etc. A D.O. with this training would be able to examine your son as a doctor, AND adjust him should he find he needs it. I wouldn't want to take a chance either.

And even if he were "trying to get out of things", that's not typical either, so SOMETHING's going on, whether it's physical, or anxiety, or something. Keep digging, mama.

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