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DS, 6 years old, says his head hurts? (repost in health and healing)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
This is the first time he's ever complained of his head hurting. He hasn't hit it on anything today. He played outside but not too long (and was in the shade part of the time). He started complaining of the pain hours after he came inside so I don't think it had anything to do with the heat. I had him lay down in the dark and quiet (I get headaches and this is what helps me) but he said it still hurt him. He is walking around and talking now so it's not like debilitating pain or anything.

What can cause a 6 year old's head to hurt? He says it hurts in the front off to the right side (like over his right eye). He's been saying this for a couple hours.

I'm trying not to do the mama freak-out right now because there is a chance he has neurofibromatosis. He has the cafe au lait spots but no other symptoms. We chose not to do the genetic testing because the geneticist says there's a high chance of false negatives. 2 concerns with neurofibromatosis are brain tumors and optic glioma (tumor on the main nerve for the eye). I'm trying my hardest not to pack him up and run to the ER demanding an MRI immediately He was at the eye doctor a couple months ago and there were no tumors on the optic nerve at that time. He hasn't had an MRI in about 3 1/2 years.
post #2 of 11


I think my approach would be this: continue to monitor the situation. If it gets worse then take him to the ER (since you do have reason to be concerned about the possibility of a more serious condition). If it stays the same or gets better give a call to your HCP tomorrow to explain what happened and to see if it's something that should be investigated. Alternately you can call your nurse helpline (if you have one where you live) to see what they suggest (though in my experience, here at least, they will almost inevitably send you to the ER as a CYA move).

To answer your original question.... my first thought, upon reading the first half of your post, is that this is something you might want to take him to the chiro for. I sometimes get a headache like that when something is out of alignment.
post #3 of 11
My first thought was strep throat. I have several friends whose kids don't exhibit typical signs of strep; some Just get a headache; some Just get a stomachache.

Reading further, I found the rest of your post interesting. I've been posting in Life With a Babe, about my ds who's 11 weeks and getting checked out for cafe au lait spots. We see another specialist tomorrow to determine if that's what these really are. When you get through this time with your ds, would you mind chatting with me about the cafe au lait stuff??
post #4 of 11
My now 6 year old complained of his head hurting last year. It turned out to be a sinus infection.
post #5 of 11
I wouldn't worry about it unless it continues for days. My kids get headaches from time to time, often when they're coming down with something. You might give him a little children's tylenol or children's motrin if he's still having it.

I've had a headache all day myself (grrrrr) and it's very annoying!

As far as the cafe au lait spots, I'm sure you know that sometimes people just have benign birthmarks. I have one. I don't think I have any brain tumors — at least they haven't shown up in the past 46 yrs!

If he were to have a brain tumor I think he would have frequent headaches. One instance is nothing to be alarmed about. If he has them every other day for two weeks, I'd definitely call his doctor, but even if it were a brain tumor it's unlikely they'd take him in for emergency surgery right away if you took him in for a MRI! They'd schedule it for a few weeks later or something. That's supposed to be reassuring!

I think there's a 99.99% chance he just has a headache. I think 6 is about the age when kids can begin to articulate that what's bothering them is that their head hurts. My kids never mentioned it much before then, but I'm sure that some of those fussy times they had when they were younger involved a headache, too. Hope it passes quickly and it's not a sign that he's coming down with something.
post #6 of 11
I got my first migraine at around 6, so don't let doctors rule that out of the picture if it keeps recurring.

The sinus headache is probably more likely.

Chiropractic adjustments help me a good deal. I also use a drop of peppermint oil on my forehead (candy flavoring).
post #7 of 11
Well, I've suffered from migraines since about six. I actually get my pain on the left behind my eye up to the top of my head.

PPs are right that it could be something else.. but it could also just be head pain. I find peppermint oil on the forehead and neck and lots of water (sipped, not chugged) helps. So does sleep.
post #8 of 11
I don't know if it would be related to the NF but my husband has NF1 and he has migraines. He's had them since he was very young.

As far as OG's go, my daughter also has NF1 and has an optic glioma but has never had any pain associated with hers.

Are you guys seen by an NF clinic or does he not have that option since he hasn't been formally diagnosed?

With two of my kids having NF, I'd be worried too!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies! He said it still hurt before he went to bed but he wasn't crying or upset about it so I put him to bed. He's sleeping now so hopefully in the morning he's feeling much better! If he's still in pain I'll probably take him to the ped to rule out sinus infection and the like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalynnsmom View Post
Are you guys seen by an NF clinic or does he not have that option since he hasn't been formally diagnosed?
No, since he's not been diagnosed. He's seen by a geneticist and a neuro (he hasn't been in 2 years to either) who basically tell me to keep an eye on him and report back with any changes (freckles in the armpit/groin, fibromas anywhere, etc). If he gets one more sign then he'll be diagnosed. He was seen by an ortho surgeon who did some x-rays and said he had no scoliosis He sees a specialized ped eye dr yearly who keeps an eye on him for OG and for another disease he has a 50/50 chance of having (retinitis pigmentosa).

Quote:
Originally Posted by momto4plus4 View Post
My first thought was strep throat. I have several friends whose kids don't exhibit typical signs of strep; some Just get a headache; some Just get a stomachache.
That is interesting! DS has had strep many many times and never does he have the same symptoms twice. LOL! I think it was the last time he had it he didn't complain of his throat hurting but really complained of his neck (the back of it) hurting. He couldn't move his neck at all! There were some other symptoms too and the ER nurses FREAKED and put him in isolation thinking he had meningitis. Turns out he had strep and the lymph nodes in the back of his neck were so swollen he couldn't even move. There was another time almost exactly a year ago when he got ill and tested positive for strep. He got antibiotics (shot in the butt since he won't take oral meds) but days later he was doing way worse (fever up to 106, wouldn't move, just moaned softly while curled in a ball, complained of pain in the belly). Took him to the ER where he underwent a ton of tests (ultrasound, cat scan, etc) and eventually was admitted to the hospital for 4 days. In the end they couldn't find anything other than strep, but he was sicker than I've ever seen. Looking back we wonder if he really had h1n1 (they tested for regular flu but not that since it wasn't in our area yet).

Anyway.... all that to say strep is possible, knowing him! He had his tonsils and adenoids out a few months ago and has been the healthiest he's ever been since

Quote:
I've been posting in Life With a Babe, about my ds who's 11 weeks and getting checked out for cafe au lait spots. We see another specialist tomorrow to determine if that's what these really are. When you get through this time with your ds, would you mind chatting with me about the cafe au lait stuff??
Let me hop on over there since my ds is asleep and see if I can give you any help

Quote:
Originally Posted by musikat View Post
My now 6 year old complained of his head hurting last year. It turned out to be a sinus infection.
Interesting. I never thought of that. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
As far as the cafe au lait spots, I'm sure you know that sometimes people just have benign birthmarks. I have one. I don't think I have any brain tumors — at least they haven't shown up in the past 46 yrs!
Yes, and we're hoping that's true for him! But he definitely doesn't have just one. He has dozens of cafe au lait spots (most of them smaller than a penny). When he was around 1-3 years his neurologist at the time (he has a different one now) suggested I take yearly pictures of his spots so we can track how they change or if we notice new ones. So I took a black marker and circled all these spots and took pictures of him. He looked hilarious with tons of spots everywhere! We don't do that anymore, mainly because ds is a lot more tan now so most of his spots aren't easily seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
PPs are right that it could be something else.. but it could also just be head pain. I find peppermint oil on the forehead and neck and lots of water (sipped, not chugged) helps. So does sleep.
Thanks! He drinks tons of water (that's all he drinks) so he should be good there
post #10 of 11
It could be anything from his possible diagnosis, to migraines, to low blood sugar, to a virus, to stress, to just being a headache.

My middle dd has been getting headaches since she was 3. When her blood sugar drops she gets migraines & then throws up.
post #11 of 11
How's he feeling today mama?
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