A headache is a condition that occurs when a child develops persistent pain in any part of the head. In some cases, headaches are no cause for concern. However, headaches related to a concussion require evaluation and treatment.
Headaches have many different causes. In some cases, children develop headaches because of stress, dehydration or hormonal changes.
If a child develops a headache after experiencing a physical trauma, the headache may be a symptom of a concussive injury. A concussive injury occurs when a trauma causes the brain to move forcefully inside the skull.
Parents should make an appointment for an evaluation whenever a child experiences a headache after being involved in an accident that may have affected the brain. Examples include incidents occurring during sporting events, falls, and car accidents. Even if the headache improves, evaluation is still recommended. Any child with a suspected concussion needs to be cleared by a provider before returning to any sport.
If a headache is present after a head injury, the SportsSafe providers will take steps to determine if your child has a concussion. In most cases, this will involve a complete neurologic exam, a detailed history, and other assessments designed to look for the signs of a concussive injury.
A child with a headache because of a concussion may be able to relieve this symptom by taking medications, natural supplements and resting.
During this time, the child shouldn’t participate in sports, gym class, or any other type of activity that could put them at risk of injuring their brain a second time.
The brain is much more vulnerable to reinjury during concussion recovery, children who sustain a second brain injury during their recovery period may significantly worsen symptoms and prolong recovery. In rare cases, a second injury called second impact syndrome can occur, which is serious and sometimes fatal.