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Headaches - info for kids

headache; fever; concussion; infection; injuries; vision; eyes; tension; stress;


headaches can make you feel miserable

Do you ever get a headache?

Headaches can make you feel really miserable, can't they?

You may have pain at one or both sides of your head, or at the back of your head and down into your neck, or across your forehead, or a feeling like a tight band squeezing around your head.


What causes headaches

Headaches can be caused by:

  • fever, like when you have a cold or are 'sickening' for some illness
  • being in the sun too long and not drinking enough water when it is hot
  • infections around the head, like in the ears, nose, and throat
  • head injuries from a bump or accident
  • sitting watching a computer too long
  • migraine (our topic Migraine will tell you more about this)
  • eye problems
  • stress (playing online games can stress people out. Your muscles get tense, especially in your neck and shoulders
  • noise - it doesn't have to be loud rock music - it could be a noisy classroom or household, or a noisy factory nearby.
    loud music can give you a headache

Head injuries

a bump on the head
Getting a bump on the head can give you a headache.

If someone is hit hard enough to be unconscious, even for a few seconds, then that person has been concussed. See our topic First Aid – Basic – what to do for more information.

Always tell an adult if you bump your head.

 Our topic 'Concussion - seeing stars' will tell you more.

Vision problems

Not being able to see well can cause headaches. If you can't see the blackboard well, if writing looks blurred, if you can see things close up but not further away, then your eyes have to work really hard and this can give you a headache.

Some people get a headache in bright light or sunlight.

Our topic Problems with eyes can tell you more.


If you are feeling really worried about something, you can sometimes get a headache. If you are so worried that you are not sleeping well, then it is a good idea to have a talk with one of your trusted adults and see if you can fix the problem.

headaches can make you feel angry

Our topic on Stress – learning to relax can help you learn how to relax.

What you can do

  • trying to relaxIf you have a headache, it's a good idea to find somewhere quiet to rest if you can.
  • Drinking cool water, putting a cool wet cloth on your head and closing your eyes works well for some headaches, including those caused by migraine, fever, sickness, or too much sun, stress or worry.
  • Do some relaxation exercises to help your muscles relax. An easy one is to start with your toes then work your way up the body, tensing and relaxing all your muscles in turn. At the same time, make your breathing slow and deep so that you are thinking about that rather than the pain or worry.

If there is a lot of pain, then mum, dad or whoever is caring for you may give you a pill to make you feel better.

If your head is still aching then a trip to the doctor is a great idea.

If you have had a bump on the head and you were unconscious for a while, you could have concussion, so it is a good idea to check with a doctor.

What kids say

  • headache"Headaches can make you unhappy and they can make you feel stressed."
  • "I had the biggest headache when I went camping. It was very hot and I got dehydrated."
  • "I get headaches if I have been playing lots of sports and not drinking enough water."
  • "I often get headaches but one of the worst ones was when I was late for school. I ran, looked behind to wave to mum and SMACK!! My head smacked into the pole. It hurt for the next two weeks."
  • "On my birthday I got concussed. I had to go to hospital and I threw up. I had a really bad headache."
  • "I get headaches when I listen to loud music or I get angry."
  • "I get headaches when my ear hurts because I have an ear infection. When I have my hearing aids in they hurt after a while."
  • I always know when a storm is coming because I get a headache and start to feel sick. I'm ok when the storm starts though.

Dr Kate says:

Dr KateIf you have a lot of headaches, have a check up with your doctor. Having a headache can make you feel really tired, and having lots of them is no fun.

 Think about what you are feeling so you can tell your doctor whereabouts your head hurts, when it started and whether you have bumped your head. It will help her decide how to help you get better.

Billy has a headache

My head is really hurting
I feel like I'll throw up
I want a drink of water
Mum helps me hold the cup.
I should have come home sooner
But it was such a lovely day.
I stayed to play another game
And now I feel this way.
Mum said, " Go to bed"
I don't really mind.
It's cool and dark in here
And Mum has closed the blind.
I’ll have a little sleep
Cool cloth upon my head.
It's strange how, when you're sick
The best place is your bed.
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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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