Children's Hospital Colorado

Headaches in Children (S3:E5)

Nearly 60% of children report having headaches. By the age of 18, that number increases to 90%. Recurrent, severe headaches are also common in this population. In the United States, one study reported that approximately 20% of children aged 4 to 18 years report having had notable recurrent headaches (including migraine) in the past 12 months.

Listen to pediatric medical experts discuss headaches in children

The host of this podcast is Dan Nicklas, MD, pediatrician at the Child Health Clinic and Assistant Professor of General Academic Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

In today’s episode, we talk with Mario Coleman, MD, about the diagnosis and management of recurring headaches in children and adolescents. Dr. Coleman is a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Colorado and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In this episode, our expert discusses:

  • The history of the patient and other potential contributing factors
  • Distinctions between headaches and migraines and their presentation in different age groups
  • Examples of the different types of triggers and suggestions for initial intervention
  • The high incidence of hereditary migraines and headaches
  • More about tension headaches and illness-associated headaches
  • The management of headaches and considering prophylactic treatment options
  • Approaching abortive medications for migraines and their age limitations
  • The use of anti-inflammatories for headaches and why they can be counterproductive
  • Red flags with patients under the age of 5 and when to consider imaging
  • Cerebellar signs to look for during the physical examination of children under the age of 5
  • When a patient needs to be referred to a specialist or sent directly to the Emergency Department
  • Headache diaries and applications to keep track of patterns
  • A list of different and soon-to-be released preventative medications, including Botox

Treatment of recurring headaches at Children’s Colorado

The team of experts in our Headache Program specializes in pediatric neurology with a specific focus on headache medicine. In addition to treating headaches in kids, we conduct research to find new and better ways to treat them. This deep knowledge allows us to pinpoint the root causes of headaches.

Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.