My 4 year old has told me that his head hurts. It is hard to get a clear understanding from him, but he specifically said it hurts when he runs and when he turns his head back and forth. The pain or headache is on one side, just above his right ear or right behind it. He has pointed to both areas. The first time he told me about the pain, was right before bed time one night. The second time was in the middle of the afternoon. A couple of days passed and he didn't mention anything and then he told me yesterday, that it hurt again. He was fine this morning, but said it hurt about one hour after he woke up and when he shook his head from left to right. This has all happened over the last week. No other symptoms other than a runny nose and some congestion. Took him to the pediatrician and he didn't see anything. Told me to wait a week or two and if the pain continues or worsens, we could schedule an MRI and/or an appointment with a neurologist (although it could take some time to get that appointment due to availability). Any additional thoughts? I am sick with worry.
Person's Gender: female
Person's Age: 36
Hello & welcome to Just Answer! If you have any questions after reading my answer, be sure to let me know.
I can understand you anxiety, since a sick child is tough to deal with, and one with a headache always 'suggest' possible serious disease
There a few positive things though
1. he has a mild runny nose/ congestion, this can be accompanied by a headache
2. A pediatric evaluation did not find anything unusual
3. he has pointed to both sides, making a local cause less likely
I would agree with the pediatrician's advise of waiting for a couple of weeks
Actually, it is only one side.....just two different spots. Mostly above his right ear, but most recently also behind the same ear.
since further testing / neurologist appointment can be delayed for this much time in the absence of any medically worrying symptoms ....
An ear infection / inflammation in the local area is more likely
but since the pediatrician did not find anything unusual, a few more days should be appropriate in the absence of high fever, worsening headaches, vomiting, excessive irritability etc.
I just can't seem to get any information about the running/shaking head cause....ears were checked at the appointment today. Do you have any additional thoughts on this?
Thank you, by the way.
From your description it does not raise a 'red flag' at present
You are welcome
The running / shaking can worsen almost any headache, and do not point to anything serious by themselves
The common cause of headache in small children include viral infections, cold, ear infections, tooth infections etc. and these are rarely serious
Thank you - again, it is hard to get answers from a four year old. He seems to only tell me about the pain after running, but no telling if it is happening when inactive. His pediatrician seemed to think the running aspect was a little strange but ultimately, didn't think it was a bad case scenario...however, as you know, there are no guarantees and that is what makes a mom worry! Thanks again.
MD, Pediatrician. Member American Academy of Pediatrics.